Meijer Promotes Symancyk To COO

Meijer Inc. has appointed J.K. Symancyk to the newly created role of chief operating officer and hired Peter Whitsett to succeed Symancyk as executive vice president of merchandising and marketing.

“As we position our company for continued growth, it’s essential that we have the proper structure and talent,” said Hank Meijer, co-chairman and CEO of the Grand Rapids, Mich.-based retailer. “This evolution of our leadership team under [company president] Mark Murray will help ensure our company’s ongoing success in a very competitive industry.”

Symancyk will report directly to Murray and will have three direct reports: Janet Emerson, EVP of retail operations; Rick Keyes, EVP of supply chain and manufacturing; and Whitsett.

Most recently EVP of global merchandising for Dick’s Sporting Goods, Whitsett has an extensive background in leadership roles with retail brands, including Kmart and Radio Shack.

“Retail operations, supply chain, manufacturing, and merchandizing and marketing are key functions that drive our competitive success,” Murray said. “I am confident this organizational alignment will strengthen the company and help ensure continued success during 2012 and beyond.”

Meijer operates 197 supercenters and grocery stores throughout Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois and Kentucky.

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