HEB Vet Named Rite Aid C.O.O.

CAMP HILL, Pa. -- Rite Aid Corp. said yesterday that Robert J. Easley, a 16-year veteran of the H.E. Butt Grocery Co. with a background in store operations, pharmacy, marketing, and management, is joining Rite Aid Aug. 20 as c.o.o.

Easley's last position at HEB was s.v.p., chief marketing officer, and head of pharmacy.

In his new role Easley will oversee all store operations, category management, marketing, merchandising, supply chain, and pharmacy services and operations at Rite Aid, reporting directly to chairman, president, and c.e.o. Mary Sammons.

Current Rite Aid c.o.o. James P. Mastrian will become special advisor on corporate strategy, reporting directly to Sammons. Mastrian will concentrate on Rite Aid's strategic direction and initiatives, with particular emphasis on the integration of the Brooks Eckerd drugstore chain acquired by Rite Aid in June.

Easley came to San Antonio-based HEB in 1991 in an executive development program, taking various store operations and corporate management positions before becoming chief marketing officer and head of pharmacy. He has served as a store manager, regional v.p. of operations for the Gulf Coast, and s.v.p., store operations of San Antonio food/drug, in which capacity he oversaw one of the company's largest divisions, consisting of 200 stores.

Among his corporate roles at HEB were director of continuous improvement, handling strategic planning, process improvement, and leadership development, and v.p. of facilities and a member of the real estate committee. He was also s.v.p. and chief change officer, in which capacity he co-led an infrastructure and technology re-engineering project to drive considerable growth in the business. In the role of chief marketing officer, he was integrally involved in rolling out the HEB Plus retail format. Before joining HEB, Easley operated his own successful construction supply business.

Rite Aid operates about 5,100 drug stores in 31 states and the District of Columbia.
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