Giant Eagle, Inc. has appointed Bill Artman as its new interim CEO, effective immediately. Artman succeeds Laura Karet, who, according to a company press release, the Giant Eagle board determined to separate pursuant to her contract. She served in the role for 11 years.
A separate press release on behalf of Karet stated that she decided to move on to the next chapter of her life and leave Giant Eagle.
"My tenure at Giant Eagle has been incredibly rewarding, and I have been privileged to guide the organization through intricate challenges and unprecedented achievements," Karet said in the statement. "I am immensely proud of my colleagues and our collective efforts, which, thanks to our talent and tenacity, have allowed Giant Eagle to not only persevere but also flourish in recent years. Today, Giant Eagle boasts $11.5 billion in sales and operates nearly 500 stores."
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Continued Karet: "Our team consistently works to provide top-quality products and services to our customers and endeavors to make a positive impact on our communities. It has been an honor to contribute to this mission, and as I look ahead to my next chapter, I will be taking some much-needed time with my family."
For his part, Artman has been with the grocer for nearly 40 years and most recently served as president of supermarkets, overseeing supply chain operations, retail innovation, real estate and construction, retail operations, merchandising, independent retailing/non-banner, and culinary operations. He will now assume day-to-day leadership responsibilities for the company.
In addition to the CEO move, Giant Eagle appointed current Lead Independent Director Bart Friedman as chair of the board. Friedman has served on the board for more than two years and will be the first non-family chair in the grocer’s history.
“We are pleased to welcome Bill into this new role,” said Friedman. “Bill has been a valued member of the Giant Eagle team for nearly 40 years, and we are more than confident he is the right leader for the next phase of this storied company.”
Continued Friedman: “His experiences throughout his career with Giant Eagle give him a deep understanding of the unique heritage of this business and position him well to drive toward future growth and continue in our proud tradition of commitment to serving our team members, customers, and communities. We’re proud to see someone like him rise through our organization as a leader after starting his career bagging groceries as a customer service clerk.”
“It is a privilege to continue to work with the talented team at Giant Eagle and I look forward to get started in this new role,” said Artman. “My main focus is and always has been continuing to support the great team at Giant Eagle, and delivering for our customers and the places where we live and work. Giant Eagle was built on a foundation of passion, hard work, innovation and competitive spirit and I’m proud to continue that legacy.”
Pittsburgh-based Giant Eagle operates more than 490 stores throughout western Pennsylvania, north central Ohio, northern West Virginia, Maryland and Indiana. The company is No. 36 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer's 2022 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America.