Cencosud Finds New CEO

The Fresh Market’s parent company reveals appointment of Rodrigo Larraín Kaplan
Marian Zboraj
Digital Editor
Marian Zboraj
Cencosud New CEO
(Image credit: Cencosud LinkedIn page)

The board of directors for Chilean supermarket operator Cencosud S.A. has appointed Rodrigo Larraín Kaplan its next CEO, effective March 1. This decision concludes a recruitment process that took place during the last three months.

Cencosud is one of the largest retailers in the Americas, with operations in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Peru and Colombia. In 2022, the company revealed it was entering the U.S. market by buying a majority stake in The Fresh Market, in a deal valued at $676 million. Besides supermarkets, Cencosud also operates home improvement businesses, department stores, shopping centers and financial services.

Larraín Kaplan’s professional career spans more than 25 years, of which more than 10 have been associated with the Cencosud group, including roles such as CEO of Cencosud Shopping S.A. and CFO of Cencosud S.A. 

"He possesses the capabilities required to lead and contribute to the achievement of the company's objectives. This includes further bolstering our competitive position in diverse markets and, in collaboration with our dedicated teams, advancing the implementation of our strategy,” noted Julio Moura, president of Cencosud. "Rodrigo is the ideal leader to spearhead our five-pillar strategy, focused on growth, innovation, sustainability, talent and financial strength, considering his professional expertise and personal skills.” 

“I am grateful for the board’s confidence in entrusting me as the company’s next CEO,” said Larraín Kaplan. “As CEO, I look forward to the opportunity to contribute to Cencosud's continued growth and to further enhance the quality and services that our customers have come to expect from Cencosud. I am very excited about the opportunities we have at the business and countries, and the strengths and commitment of our teams.”

The board also expressed its gratitude to Renato Gutiérrez for his work as interim CEO. “Renato possesses an in-depth understanding of the company, and as a board, we deeply appreciate the valuable contribution and professionalism he has demonstrated during these interim months,” said Moura. Renato will continue as interim CEO until Larraín Kaplan assumes the role. Following the transition, Renato will resume his position as Cencosud's corporate manager of management control.

For the third quarter ending Sept. 30, 2023, Cencosud reported consolidated revenues of US $4.296 million, adjusted EBITDA of US $422 million and net income of US $176 million.

"During the third quarter, Cencosud continued to deliver solid results, progressing on the key strategic initiatives, while navigating a challenging environment,” said Gutiérrez. “This good performance reflects the resilience of the company's core supermarket businesses and our differentiated customer focus."

Last year, Cencosud released its expansion plans for The Fresh Market. The company intends to add 22 stores by 2025. In September 2023, The Fresh Market opened its newest store, in Port St. Lucie, Fla., marking the first store for the specialty food retailer in the city and its 47th in Florida. 

Greensboro, N.C.-based The Fresh Market operates 160 stores in 22 states. The Fresh Market is No. 76 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2023 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America.

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