Dollar Tree Inc. said Monday that grocery industry veteran Gary Philbin has taken over as president and CEO of the company for Bob Sasser, who is assuming the role of executive chairman of the board as part of a planned leadership succession.
Sasser, 65, had served as CEO of Dollar Tree since 2004, growing the company from around 1,200 stores to more than 14,000, and revenues from less than $1 billion to more than $22 billion. Sasser succeeds Macon Brock as board chairman. Brock will remain on the board in the role of chairman emeritus, the company said.
Philbin, 60, assumed the role of president and COO of Family Dollar upon its acquisition by Dollar Tree in 2015 and was promoted earlier this year to enterprise president with responsibilities for both Dollar Tree and Family Dollar banners. Philbin joined Dollar Tree in 2001 as SVP of stores and was promoted to COO in 2007.
As part of the switch Philbin was also appointed to the board of directors of Dollar Tree.
Philbin previously worked for supermarket operators including Grand Union, where he served as president, Supervalu and its Cub Foods division, A&P’s Waldbaums brand and the Kroger Co.
“Gary has been a tremendous business partner to me for the past fifteen years. We share the same values, have a common vision for Dollar Tree’s future, and are aligned on strategic initiatives and priorities to achieve the company’s business goals,” Sasser said in a statement. “Succession planning has been an important part of Dollar Tree’s organizational efforts and culture for many years. Working with our board of directors, I have been planning leadership succession for some time and we are confident this will be a seamless transition, both inside and outside of the company. Our board of directors and leadership team have complete confidence in Gary’s ability to lead Dollar Tree through its next phases of growth.”
Dollar Tree completed six acquisitions during Sasser’s tenure, including the $9.1 billion acquisition of Family Dollar Stores in 2015. Dollar Tree’s market capitalization has grown from approximately $2.3 billion to $19.8 billion during that period.
“Bob has led Dollar Tree to industry-leading returns for shareholders and success for all of our stakeholders,” Philbin said. “Bob’s vision has transformed Dollar Tree from a small, regional retailer to a world class, Fortune 150 company across the United States and Canada. Our retail business model can operate successfully in tough times and good times, as we have demonstrated under Bob’s leadership as CEO.”