As part of a long-term leadership strategy, Tops Friendly Markets veteran John Persons has been named to lead the regional grocery chain as its new president and COO, while Frank Curci will continue to serve as Tops' CEO and board chairman.
“John’s appointment is the first step in an organized and planned effort to ensure we have consistent and experienced leadership to guide the future growth and success of Tops Friendly Markets,” Curci said. “Over the past eight years, John has played a significant role in building our organization and is committed to ensuring that Tops is providing the best value possible for our many customers.”
In his new role as president and COO, Persons – who has been with Williamsville, N.Y.-based Tops for more than 30 years, most recently as EVP of sales, marketing and merchandising – will oversee store operations, sales, marketing and merchandising for the 165-store retailer.
“I look forward…to working with all members of the Tops family – associates, vendors and suppliers – as we strive to provide Tops’ customers with what they want, when they want it, and saves them time and money,” said Persons. Extending thanks to Curci and Tops’ board of directors "for the confidence they have placed in me," Persons said he will remain focused on continuing "to build a stronger Tops in the communities we serve.”
As SVP of retail operations from 2007 to 2014 and VP of retail operations from 2000 to 2007, Persons has served on Tops' board since 2013 as part of the management team led by Curci, which bought out Tops from its previous owner, Morgan Stanley Private Equity, in December 2013.
For his part, Curci has led Tops as its president, CEO and director since December 2007, when Morgan Stanley purchased Tops from Ahold. He became chairman of the board of directors upon the 2013 management buyout, which returned Tops to local ownership.
Under Curci’s leadership, Tops has more than doubled the number of stores to 165 full-service supermarkets, expanded its geographic reach into eastern and northern New York, Vermont and northern Pennsylvania, invested more than $200 million in store renovations and updates, and created the company's upscale Orchard Fresh small-format concept store in Orchard Park, N.Y.