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Southeastern Grocers Confirms Executive Reshuffling

Southeastern Grocers (SEG), parent company of Bi-Lo, Harveys and Winn-Dixie, has confirmed reports of an organizational and executive leadership reshuffling, including several departures and the restructuring of its south Florida division.

In an internal memo undersigned by President and CEO Ian McLeod, the Jacksonville, Fla.-based regional retailer's Harveys banner required new leadership to maximize its potential, so Bill Nasshan, most recently SEG chief merchandising officer, was chosen to helm the division, with stores in South Georgia and North Florida, as managing director. Nasshan will also manage SEG's south Florida Winn-Dixie stores and report directly to McLeod.

"Harveys has undergone considerable change in the past year since the stores became part of the Southeastern Grocers group," McLeod noted in the internal memo. "While many of the changes have been positive, there have been other changes that have not been as successful as we might otherwise have wished. One of the main reasons for this is due to Harveys not being given the opportunity to truly maintain its own identity and that which its customers had grown to expect. In order to ensure that the Harveys brand is given the time and attention it deserves, I believe it requires new leadership to pull together the stores, the assortment and the pricing to deliver more effectively for the Harveys customer."

McLeod's memo continued: "Similarly, Miami is a multifaceted region of our geography with a diverse customer base by demography and ethnicity. This diversity and complexity requires strategic focus to ensure our stores appeal to all of our customers in South Florida."

Emphasizing "the importance of these two markets to our company, and the size of the opportunity," McLeod went on to say: "South Florida has been regarded as Miami. However, it is quite clear that it is far more complex as a region to believe that a 'one-size-fits-all approach' will appeal to our diverse range of customers there. It will require a more considered approach to assortment and pricing to ensure appeal to all customers; from traditional American backgrounds, the various Hispanic communities, those more affluent living north of Miami or visiting the Keys and also our strong Jewish population.

"Bill brings a wealth of experience in both merchandise and stores, and he is particularly familiar with the South Florida market. For all of these reasons and more, I believe Bill is ideally suited to maximize our opportunities. …Given his extensive experience in both merchandise and stores, he is ideally suited to lead our rejuvenation in each of these markets."

While "no decision has been made on a chief merchandising officer replacement for Bill," McLeod said that Mike Bove, group VP of fresh merchandise, and Dewayne Rabon, group VP of center store, will take on interim roles and report directly to him. Rabon also will add responsibility for pharmacy, private label development and supplier diversity, while John Fegan, Jason Ulichnie and Derek Lott will now report to Rabon. Reid Boylston, director of rural merchandising, meanwhile, will report to Bove until further notice.

Additional Executive Moves

Other merchandise team appointments and/or changes include:

  • Ken Wicker, regional VP of operations for Harveys, and Michael Purvis, director of merchandising for Harveys, will both report to Nasshan, as will each of the district directors for the south Florida division.
  • Steve Strachota will lead end-to-end supply chain, and will also serve as the key liaison with SEG's third-party service partner, Keene, N.H.-based C&S Wholesale Grocers, while Rob Mould, group VP of merchandise services, will report to Strachota.
  • Mark Scates, most recently general manager of Australia's Coles supermarket operations, has been named SVP of store operations.

Other divisional personnel changes are as follows:


  • Shawn Sloan, regional VP of north Florida, and Tony Williams, who will pick up the lead role for central operations
  • Eddie Garcia, regional VP of central Florida, and Joey Medina, regional VP of west Florida
  • Drew Elkins, regional VP of Alabama and Mississippi
  • Tracey Edwards, regional VP of Louisiana, who will begin his new role in September. In the interim, District Director Mohamed Abul-Hawa will lead the Louisiana store teams.


With the sale of its Bi-Lo stores in Chattanooga to Food City, Bi-Lo will become two divisions: Bi-Lo East and Bi-Lo West.

  • Fred Shropshier will lead Bi-Lo West.
  • Gordon Schmidt will lead Bi-Lo East and will begin his new role in September. In the interim, District Director Calvin Rash will lead the Bi-Lo East operating team.

Unless otherwise noted, all appointments become effective Monday, Aug. 17.

With the changes, a number of SEG's current executives will leave the company, including Winn-Dixie's Tim Flavin, Tony Jorges, Karena Niblett and Randy Rambo, as well as Bi-Lo's Allen Reavis.

"Such significant leadership changes are never easy," McLeod said in the memo, "but I firmly believe that the changes … will provide us with renewed energy and leadership direction to enable us to face our turnaround challenges with increased enthusiasm and confidence."

Read expert analysis of what may lie behind Southeastern Grocers' latest corporate shakeup.


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