Big Y CEO Donald D’Amour Stepping Down to Serve as Board Advisor
Clockwise from left: Donald H. D'Amour, Charles L. D'Amour, Michael P. D'Amour, Nicole D'Amour Schneider, Richard D. Bossie, Guy W. McFarlane
According to the board of directors of Springfield, Mass.-based Big Y Foods Inc., Donald H. D’Amour, the company’s chairman and CEO, is transitioning from the day-to-day responsibilities of his role to become an advisor to the board in his new position of as chairman emeritus.
CEO of Big Y since 1980, Donald D’Amour succeeded his father, company co-founder Paul D’Amour, as chairman of the board in 1997.
Charles L. D’Amour, son of co-founder Gerald D’Amour, will remain as president, a role he’s held since 2006. To allow for a smooth transition, however, he has been appointed CEO, in which capacity he will help guide the overall strategic direction of Big Y, along with the company’s vision and mission. As he provides overall leadership and oversight, the key departments of finance, legal, real estate and development, employee services, and information resources technology will report directly to him.
The company’s senior leadership team also saw the following changes, which like the ones noted above, became effective Jan. 1:
Michael P. D’Amour, grandson of co-founder Paul D’Amour and son of Donald D’Amour, who was appointed to the position of EVP in 2014, has now added the role of COO, a position formerly held by Charles D’Amour. In his new role, Michael D’Amour will oversee all operating aspects of the company, including sales, operations, distribution and supply chain. He began his full-time career at Big Y in 1996.
Guy W. McFarlane, Big Y’s VP of fresh foods since 2011, has become SVP of sales and marketing, in which role he will head up sales and procurement, pricing, marketing, and data analytics, reporting to Michael D’Amour. McFarlane began his career at Big Y nearly a quarter-century ago, and has worked in the supermarket industry for 41 years.
Richard D. Bossie, Big Y’s VP of operations since 2016, has been promoted to the new position of SVP of operations and customer experience. In his expanded role, Bossie will oversee all operational aspects of the company that affect the customer experience, including labor planning, inventory control and ordering, checkout and customer service, and retail asset protection, along with all operational aspects of Big Y Express Gas and Convenience division and Table and Vine, Big Y’s flagship beer, spirits and fine wine store. He also will report to Michael D’Amour. Bossie began his career at Big Y more than three decades ago and has nearly forty years of retail experience.
Nicole D’Amour Schneider, granddaughter of co-founder Paul D’Amour and daughter of Donald D’Amour, who was senior director of store operations, has been appointed to the new position of VP of supermarket operations, with a specific focus on the daily operations of the supermarket division. In partnership with the five district directors reporting to her, she will continue to drive operational excellence throughout the chain, reporting to Bossie. Nicole D’Amour embarked on her full-time Big Y career in 1999.
“Our company continues to grow and evolve, and we are always developing opportunities to better serve our customers in the communities where we operate,” noted Donald D’Amour. “Ushering in strategic change requires a dedicated group of professionals and leaders such as this team, which is at the vanguard of the most innovative thinking in our industry. I’m proud of this seasoned, well-respected team that is well poised to lead our company now and into the future.”
In revealing the executive moves, the company’s board noted, “These changes align with the enterprise’s expanding business activities and the dynamic shifts that are occurring within the supermarket, convenience and retail liquor industries.”
One of the largest independently owned supermarket chains in New England, Big Y operates 82 locations throughout Massachusetts and Connecticut, including 71 supermarkets, 40 pharmacies, Fresh Acres Market, Table & Vine Fine Wines and Liquors, and nine Big Y Express Gas and Convenience locations, with more than 11,000 employees. The family-owned and –operated company is No. 37 on Progressive Grocer’s 2018 Super 50 list of the top grocers in the United States.