Vasos’ promotion at Longs considered ‘a positive’

NEW YORK A Goldman Sachs analyst said the appointment of Todd Vasos as the new executive vice president and chief operating officer of Longs Drug is a “positive” that should “position the company better” for the future.

In a March 10 report, analyst John Heinbockel said the departure of former chief operating officer Karen Stout last Friday and the promotion of Vasos to replace her is an “important change” that should make Longs stronger.

 “We view these changes positively. Mr. Vasos is responsible for many of the most impactful initiatives the company has pursued over the past several years, including the upgrade of the private-label program, the development of a new store remodel prototype and expansion into self-distribution,” Heinbockel said in his report. “Ms. Stout, on the other hand, had primarily a warehouse club and supermarket background.”

 In that regard, he added that, “it is more important for the person heading up operations and merchandising to have an intimate understanding of the drug store format.”

In his former position as senior vice president and chief merchandising officer, Vasos played a key role in the rollout of Longs’ store remodels and its front-end re-merchandising.

Larry Gatta will fill Vasos’ position as senior vice president and chief merchandising officer, and Linda Voracek is moving up to the role of vice president of marketing and is responsible for all front-end categories. No reason has been given for Stout’s departure from Longs.

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