RETAIL NEWS

Rite Aid restructures, changes leadership

BY DSN STAFF

Big changes are coming to Rite Aid’s leadership team and organizational structure. The retailer on Tuesday announced efforts to reduce managerial layers and consolidate roles that will result in the elimination of 400 full-time roles — roughly 20% of the corporate positions at its headquarters and in its field operations.

As part of the leadership transition, CEO John Standley will step down as CEO, with the board immediately commencing a search for his successor. He will serve as CEO until his successor is appointed.

Also departing, but effective immediately, is COO Kermit Crawford. Bryan Everett — most recently COO of Rite Aid Stores — has been named COO. Rite Aid’s chief accounting officer and treasurer, Matt Schroeder, has been named CFO, succeeding Darren Karst, who will depart in the spring following a brief transition, the company said. Brian Hoover has been promoted to chief accounting officer from his role as vice president and controller.

Jocelyn Konrad also has been promoted. She will be the company’s executive vice president of pharmacy and retail operations from her role as executive vice president of pharmacy. Current executive vice president of store operations Derek Griffith is departing. Rite Aid said it also would consolidate additional senior leadership roles, eliminating certain positions.

“We thank John for his outstanding leadership in guiding the company over the past several years,” said Rite Aid chairman Bruce Bodaken. “His leadership and expertise have been critical to ensuring the company’s stability and success through an extremely challenging environment. In addition, we are confident that Bryan, Matt and our senior leadership team have the capabilities and experience necessary to effectively guide Rite Aid forward. On behalf of the board, I want to thank Kermit, Darren, and all the other departing associates for their service and contributions to the company.”

Rite Aid said roughly two-thirds of its planned reductions would be taking place immediately, with the rest set to be completed by the end of 2020. It said the efforts would bring annual cost savings of roughly $55 million, with $42 million of it to come within fiscal year 2020. The efforts, the company said, will offset an expected income reduction resulting from diminished obligations under its transition services agreement with Walgreens relating to its sale of stores. The company said it expects to incur a one-time restructuring fee of $38 million to achieve these cost savings.

“Rite Aid’s board of directors is committed to more closely aligning the structure and leadership of the company with our present scale, and today’s announcement is an important step in positioning Rite Aid for future success,” Bodaken said. “These are difficult decisions, and we recognize the implications they have for individuals across our organization. However, it is imperative we take action to reduce the cost of current operations and become a more efficient and profitable company.”

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