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Fast-casual giant begins hunt for new CEO

BY Marianne Wilson

The chief executive of Subway is stepping down.

Suzanne Greco will retire as CEO of Subway on June 30, at which point she will become a senior advisor to the company. Subway has appointed Trevor Haynes, chief business development officer, as interim CEO, overseeing the day-to-day operations of the company, effective May 2, while it searches for a permanent chief. Haynes, who joined Subway in 2006, will work with Greco to ensure a smooth transition until Greco officially retires.

Greco has been CEO since 2015. She joined the company in 1973 as a “sandwich artist.” Prior to her role as CEO, she was part of the research & development team for over two decades and was promoted to lead the group as VP of operations and research & development in 2013.

“As we work with Suzanne on a smooth transition for the business we cherish, we are grateful for her extraordinary contributions and her insightful and dedicated leadership,” Subway’s shareholders stated. “We are optimistic about the brand and look forward to working with the next CEO to ensure a robust future for the company.”

Subway operates about 44,000 restaurants in 112 countries. Founded by then 17-year-old Fred Deluca and family friend Dr. Peter Buck more than 52 years ago, Subway is still a family owned business, working with more than 21,000 franchisees.

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Kohl’s names new merchandising chief

BY Marianne Wilson

Kohl’s Corp. tapped a 30-year retail veteran to head up merchandising.

The department store retailer named Doug Howe as chief merchandising officer, responsible for Kohl’s overall merchandising strategy and all merchandising functions. He succeeds CEO-elect Michelle Gass. The much-admired Gass is set to take the reins from the retiring Kevin Mansell later this month at the close of the company’s annual shareholders meeting.

Most recently, Howe was global chief merchandising officer at the Qurate Retail Group, home of QVC and HSN. Prior to that, he led QVC’s merchandising efforts for 10 years and played an instrumental role in the growth of QVC’s fashion business and development of the company’s proprietary businesses.

Prior to QVC, Howe held leadership roles with Gap Inc. in product design and development. He also held various merchandising leadership roles at Walmart, including senior VP of strategy, design and development.

“Doug is a proven merchant and a visionary leader with a strong track record of driving growth through compelling products, brands, and customer experiences,” said Gass. “He brings a unique combination of skills given his extensive background in working across digital retail channels, department stores, and mass retailers.”

 

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Specialty grocery retailer promotes exec to lead merchandising team

BY Deena M. Amato-McCoy

The Fresh Market has a new merchandising chief.

The specialty grocery retailer has appointed Rich Durante as chief merchandising officer. Durante will oversee all of retailer’s buying activities, and develop strategic purchasing plans for merchandising, product innovation and product quality throughout all stores.

He was previously executive VP of Midwest and Southeast merchandising for company, responsible for merchandising departments and private label programs within these regions. However, that is just a small piece of Durante’s more than 39-year tenure in the grocery industry.

Prior to joining The Fresh Market, Durante was president and COO of AG Supermarket Holdings, which operates Kings Food Markets, Balducci’s Food Lover’s Market, and Balducci’s On the Go Café. He has also held roles of increasing responsibility at Kings Super Markets, where he successfully led merchandising, operations, marketing and engineering teams.

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