Gelson’s Names John Bagan President & CEO

Appointment follows retirement of longtime leader Rob McDougall
Gelson's John Bagan Main Image
John Bagan

Gelson’s has promoted John Bagan to president and CEO following the retirement of Rob McDougall after 15 years with the Southern California-based independent grocer. The new role marks Bagan’s third promotion in two years. His most recent transition was from COO to president last July.

As president and CEO, Bagan will take on greater responsibility for the company’s overall vision, business and growth strategy, as well as maintaining relationships with the board of directors and Tokyo-based parent company Pan Pacific International Holdings (PPIH). Bagan joined Gelson’s as chief merchandising officer in 2016 after prominent merchandising and supply chain roles at Guitar Center, Albertsons and Target. He began his career as a business analyst for Morgan Stanley before earning his MBA in marketing from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management. 

An industry veteran who has spent nearly five decades in the grocery business, McDougall joined Gelson’s in 2007 and became CEO in 2014. While at the helm, he sought to place a greater emphasis on fresh foods, along with organic and local products, in response to the changing habits of local shoppers. McDougall also expanded the chain from 18 to 27 locations, including the debut of three locations in San Diego in 2016. His approach included tailoring each Gelson’s store to the needs of its community while rolling out new in-store social areas like wine bars and branded products such as Gelson’s wines.

Gelson’s has additionally promoted Rich Gillmore to VP of center store and Sean Saenz to VP fresh foods, while revealing key title changes to reflect additional responsibilities:

  • Clare Bogle is now chief financial and administrative officer, with responsibility for finance, accounting, accounts payable, analytics, payroll, risk management, legal and benefits.
  • Ron Johnson is now chief information and supply chain officer, with responsibility for IT, supply chain and PPIH synergies.
  • Tom Frattali is now SVP of group synergies, heading Gelson’s efforts in group purchasing, supply chain efficiencies and private label expansion with the parent company.
  • Paul Kneeland is now SVP of merchandising and sales, with responsibility for center store and fresh foods merchandising.
  • Tim Mahoney is now SVP of operations, with responsibility for store operations, pharmacies, construction and Maintenance, and loss prevention.
  • Yvonne Manganaro is now SVP of customer and team experience, with responsibility for marketing, human resources, team development, public affairs and real estate.

Encino, Calif.-based Gelson’s operates 27 stores in Southern California. 

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