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Sobeys Parent Names President/CEO

Empire Co. Ltd., parent company of Canadian grocer Sobeys, has appointed Michael Medline president and CEO of both companies, effective immediately. Medline will also serve on the Empire board of directors.

“Michael Medline is an outstanding Canadian retailer who brings a passion for the customer experience and a proven ability to drive strong operating and financial performance within national organizations and across multiple brands,” said James Dickson, chair of Stellarton, Nova Scotia-based Empire. “After an extensive international search, the board is unanimous in its determination that Michael is the right choice to create long-term value for all our stakeholders.”

Before joining Empire, Medline held a range of senior retail leadership roles over more than 15 years at Toronto-based Canadian Tire Corp., most recently as president and CEO.

Calling Empire “a great retailer which has served Canadians for more than 109 years,” Medline said that he intended “to put together and execute on a strategy that will thrill our customers, build our brands and excite our shareholders.”

He will work closely with interim President and CEO François Vimard, who took the helm when Marc Poulin left the company last July, and now moves into the position of Empire EVP; the leadership team; and the board.

A wholly owned subsidiary of Empire, Sobeys owns or franchises about 1,500 stores in all 10 Canadian provinces under such retail banners as Sobeys, Safeway, IGA, Foodland, FreshCo, Thrifty Foods and Lawton’s Drug Stores, as well as more than 350 retail fuel locations. Sobeys, its franchisees and affiliates employ more than 125,000 people.

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