Rouses Markets announced Monday the appointment of Steve Black as president and COO and the ascension of Donny Rouse to the CEO role.
A 40-year industry veteran, Black most recently served as president of Lucky’s Market. He has also held executive positions at Sprouts Farmers Market and Sunflower Farmers Market.
Black’s appointment is effective this December.
“After talking to [Black] and getting to spend some time with him, I really like how he is a team player,” Rouse told SN. “He’s big into team building and big into just relationships and employees, letting employees do what they do best and managing them. He’s not a micro manager. And he just I think will be great for the culture of our company.”
Black also pointed to the importance of employees in comments sent to SN.
"I believe that the secret to success is our team members, so I will be getting out to all the stores and meet everyone I can and try to discover any and all ways I can help them. My job is to block and tackle the obstacles that keep team members and our home office support team from being successful. We take care of them and they take care of our customers," said Black.
"I spent the first 27 years of my career in a family-owned business, and after my first conversation with Donny Rouse, I knew this was the place for me. I visited several of the stores and was so impressed with their merchandising and local food emphasis. From the time you walk in, you can feel the authentic southern hospitality and the friendliness of the team and I just wanted to be a part of that," he added.
Rouse is part of the third generation at the family-owned retailer. He previously was a manager partner. Rouse said he was "excited" to take the reins as CEO.
“I’ve been in this business with my family my entire life, grew up in the business. And too, I’m excited that the family trusts me in the position and trusts me to continue leading the company down a successful road. So my goal is just to do the best I can for the family and for our team members and for our customers,” Rouse said.
“In the past we’ve had just a family kind of running the business. And so we had multiple people making different decisions. And now just with one true leader I think we can make some quicker decisions and continue to be successful.”
Black will be replacing COO Scott Miller, who has served in the position for the past nine years.
“Scott has been a tremendous asset to our team,” Rouse said in a release. “He helped us grow from 15 stores in Louisiana to 54 stores in three states. He has my family’s respect and colleagues’ respect, and our thanks for the success he brought us.”
Miller will remain as a consultant to the Rouse family during the transition.