BJ’s Wholesale Club elevated CFO Bob Eddy to the role of president and CEO and revealed a series of other high-level executive moves on April 19, following the unexpected death of previous CEO Lee Delaney on April 10. Eddy joined BJ’s in 2007, became CFO in 2011 and added the title of chief administrative officer in 2018.
“Bob’s leadership, strategic vision and deep knowledge of the business have been pivotal in driving BJ’s Wholesale Club’s transformation and record growth across all key metrics,” said Chris Baldwin, BJ’s executive chairman. “We delivered industry-leading results this past year and made significant progress on each of our long-term strategic pillars under Lee’s leadership, and we’ll continue to honor his legacy. Looking ahead, the board and I are confident that Bob is the right person to lead the company and to drive profitable growth and long-term shareholder value.”
In addition to giving Eddy a vote of confidence, Baldwin revealed other key moves to help the operator of 221 stores continue to execute key strategic initiatives and drive growth. Other changes included:
Laura Felice was named EVP and CFO, after previously holding the role SVP and controller, to fill the position previously held by Eddy. In her new position, she will oversee finance, accounting, tax, treasury, risk management, audit and investor relations. Eddy, who worked closely with Felice for the past five years, said that she “is ideally positioned to serve as our CFO and drive the next phase of our strategy. She has played an integral role in transforming our balance sheet and in capitalizing on opportunities to invest back into our business."
Paul Cichocki, was named EVP and chief commercial officer after previously holding the role of EVP, membership, analytics and business transformation. He will now oversee merchandising, membership, marketing and analytics. He joined BJ’s last year, after having been a partner at Bain & Co., the private equity firm where Delaney had been a partner before he coming to BJ’s in 2016. Cichocki spent 20 years at Bain, and prior to that was an operating manager at Frito-Lay.
Bill Werner was named EVP, strategy and development after having been SVP, strategic planning and investor relations since 2016. In his latest position, he will lead the company’s market expansion and strategic initiatives to create value for members and shareholders. Werner joined the company in 2012 as VP, accounting and financial reporting after having been a director in the deals practice at PricewaterhouseCoopers in Boston from 2007 to 2012.
“Our management team is comprised of seasoned executives with deep talent and a breadth of experience in the retail and consumer industries,” Baldwin said, “In addition to Bob’s appointment as president and CEO, we continue to strengthen our team with accomplished leaders like Laura, Paul and Bill. This world-class team will continue to build on our existing momentum and fuel the next phase of growth for the company.”
Eddy added: “In the last year, we’ve truly transformed our business by every measure, and we continue to accelerate our strategic initiatives. I’m honored and humbled to lead this growing company and great team. We are a much stronger and better company today than we were at the time of our IPO in 2018."
Westborough, Massachusetts-based BJ's Wholesale Club operates 219 clubs and 148 BJ's Gas locations in 17 states. The company is No. 27 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer's 2020 list of the top food retailers in North America.