Spartan's Board OK's Eidson as Next C.E.O.

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Spartan's Board OK's Eidson as Next C.E.O.

Spartan Stores, Inc., said yesterday that its board of directors has named Dennis Eidson c.e.o. effective Oct. 15, 2008, while current c.e.o. Craig C. Sturken will continue in his role as executive chairman of the board.

Eidson will continue in his current role as a board member, president, and c.o.o., until he takes over as president and c.e.o. In his new role, he will develop and execute board-approved, consumer-centric business strategies and leverage the company's hybrid business model, while searching out sustainable market growth opportunities.

Sturken will work closely with Eidson to ensure a smooth transition. As executive chairman, Sturken will continue to manage board functions and facilitate interaction between the board and executive management. He will additionally coordinate with the c.e.o. to develop and execute company business strategy, mentor executive leadership, and help maintain key business relationships,

"For the past 24 months, our board has been engaged in c.e.o. succession planning," noted Sturken. "I have worked with our board to assess our critical leadership needs and to ensure that we selected the right individual to lead us through our future growth stages. During the past six years, we have built Spartan Stores into a leading and well-respected regional grocery distributor and retailer. During those years Dennis has consistently demonstrated his exceptional leadership talent, strategic insight, and business plan execution capabilities. He has been instrumental in guiding our business strategies, which produced record fiscal 2008 earnings and our 10th consecutive quarter of double-digit growth. He has been the chief architect behind our critical marketing, merchandising, and category management strategies that have led to our successful business performance."

Eidson said that he aimed "to further strengthen our market position by leveraging our organization’s core competencies and competitive advantages to ensure that we extend our success well into the future."

A grocery industry veteran with over 30 years of experience exclusively in the Midwest, Eidson joined Spartan in March 2003 as e.v.p. of marketing and merchandising. In October 2007 he joined the board of directors as a company president, following his appointment earlier that year to the position of e.v.p and c.o.o. Before coming to Spartan, Eidson was divisional president and c.e.o. of A&P's Midwest region, and assistant g.m. for Nash Finch, Inc.'s Michigan operations.

Grand Rapids, Mich.-based Spartan is the10th-largest grocery distributor in the United States, with warehouse facilities in Grand Rapids and Plymouth, Mich. The company distributes over 40,000 private label and national brand products to almost 400 independent grocery stores in Michigan, Indiana, and Ohio. Spartan also owns and operates 84 retail supermarkets in Michigan, among them Family Fare Supermarkets, Glen's Markets, D&W Fresh Markets, and Felpausch Food Centers.