Publix Plots Succession Course for Retiring VP

Bob Bechtel has been with the grocer since 1978
Emily Crowe
Multimedia Editor
Publix Exec
Bob Bechtel

Publix Super Markets has announced the retirement of VP of Customer Experience Bob Bechtel, effective March 31. Bechtel, who began his Publix career in 1978 as a front service clerk, will be replaced by current Director of Omnichannel David Finger. 

Bechtel worked in various positions during his long tenure with Publix, being promoted to store manager in 1991 and to Lakeland Division district manager in 1995, during which time he received the 2005 President’s Award for perpetuating diversity and inclusion in the workplace. He became regional director in 2008 and Miami Division VP in 2016, then took on his current role in 2019. 

“Bob has spent his career focusing on customer service,” said Publix CEO Kevin Murphy. “Through his leadership and efforts, he has helped our associates provide a premier shopping environment that has exceeded our customers’ expectations and helped create raving fans at Publix. We thank Bob for his many years of service to Publix and wish him the best in his retirement.”

Publix David Finger
David Finger

As for Finger, he started his Publix career in 1993 as a front service clerk and was transferred to the corporate office in 2000. He worked in various roles before being promoted to his current role in 2017.

“Through every position David has held, he’s kept our customers top of mind, partnering with business areas across the company to find ways to improve our services and streamline our processes,” Murphy said. “I am excited to see how he will continue to find ways to raise the bar on Publix’s service levels and build on creating a premier shopping experience for our customers.”

As of Jan. 2, former Publix CEO Todd Jones stepped into the executive chairman role, and President Kevin Murphy was promoted to CEO. Concurrently, SVP John Goff was promoted to president.

Employee-owned and -operated Publix has close to 1,300 supermarkets in Florida, Georgia, Alabama, South Carolina, Tennessee, North Carolina, Virginia and Kentucky. Lakeland, Fla.-based Publix is No. 12 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2023 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America. PG also named the company one of its Retailers of the Century.

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