Canadian Packaging

Loblaws shakes it up

By Canadian Packaging Staff   

General Galen Weston Loblaws Companies Ltd. Management changes at Shoppers Drug mart Managment changes at Loblaws Shoppers Drug Mart

High-level management changes hit retailer.

Loblaws Companies Ltd. announced on July 17, 2014 that it has replaced Vicente Trius as president of the company with former executive chairman Galen Weston.

In another move, Mike Lotz—currently Loblaws executive vice-president and chief merchandising officer—will replace the exiting Shoppers Drug Mart president Domenic Pilla before the end of the year.

Weston will take on his role as company president, but will also maintain his position as executive chairman, where he has been responsible for setting the strategic direction of the company and in leading the board of directors. In assuming the position of president, Weston will also be responsible for the execution of the company’s strategy, leadership of the management team and its overall business performance.

Weston has been the strategic architect of reshaping the grocery business, as well as transforming Loblaw into a diversified portfolio of complementary businesses, including the creation of Choice Properties and the acquisition of Shoppers Drug Mart.


“I am excited about the future, and the opportunity to execute on the strategic vision we have built for the company. I am confident that Loblaw will continue to advance its business both financially and operationally and be well positioned to create long-term sustainable value,” comments Weston.

The departing Trius, had been president since August 2011, leaving the company immediately to return to Brazil for family reasons.

Weston says: “Vicente has made an enormous impact on virtually every aspect of our business in the time that he has been with the company. Our businesses are stronger, our customer proposition more compelling, and our operating effectiveness much improved. He has set a strong foundation for the future. ”

As for the replacement of Shoppers president Pilla, Weston says Pilla is leaving to pursue opportunities to lead a widely-held public company.

“For the balance of the year, Domenic will remain as president of Shoppers Drug Mart and be fully engaged in the business. In addition to his normal duties, Domenic will work very closely with me to deliver on several important initiatives, including the transition to a new president of Shoppers Drug Mart. I have every confidence that Domenic will continue to make a significant contribution in the second half of the year,” concludes Weston.

Other changes at Loblaws include the appointment of:

  • Richard Dufresne, assuming the role of chief financial officer of Loblaw.  As CFO of Loblaw, Dufresne’s key responsibilities will be delivering the financial plan of the organization; achieving the targeted synergies related to the Shoppers Drug Mart acquisition; and de-leveraging the balance sheet. Dufresne will retain his role as chief financial officer at George Weston Limited.
  • Sarah Davis, previously chief financial officer, will become chief administrative officer, responsible for Supply Chain, IT (including SAP implementation), Goods Not for Resale, Loblaw Properties and Strategy. Her key objective will be to deliver efficiencies across the organization, including those resulting from the implementation of SAP. Davis was appointed CFO in 2010.
  • Grant Froese, previously chief administrative officer, becomes chief operating officer of the company. In this new role, Froese will be responsible for the operating performance of the Market, Discount and Emerging Business grocery operations, as well as the division support functions of Control Brands, e-Commerce, and Off-shore Procurement.
  • Mike Motz, currently EVP and chief merchandising officer, will become the president of Shoppers Drug Mart effective on the departure of Domenic Pilla, and will be responsible for delivering the strategic and operational plan for Shoppers Drug Mart. Motz, an 11-year veteran of the business, was instrumental, with Pilla, in increasing Shoppers Drug Mart’s competitiveness, customer offer, and loyalty program.

Says Weston: “Since we announced the deal to acquire Shoppers Drug Mart over a year ago, we have made tremendous progress in realizing key deliverables that underpinned the transaction. Our two businesses are working well together and we are on track to deliver the first $100 million in synergies by the end of the first quarter of 2015.”

SOURCE: Loblaw Companies Limited




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