New A&P Chairman Mays Cites Progress: Sources

MONTVALE, N.J. — Greg Mays has taken over for Ron Burkle as chairman of A&P [2] here, the company told employees Wednesday.

Mays is a former A&P board member and a longtime executive with ties to Burkle’s Yucaipa Cos., which owns the struggling retailer.

In a meeting with union leaders Wednesday, Mays said the company was starting to show improvement, including positive cash flow, sources told SN. Actual financial results for the fiscal year that ended in February have not been announced.

“I’m not easily impressed but I was very impressed with Greg Mays; he comes across as an extremely knowledgeable and compassionate individual,” John Niccolai, president of United Food and Commercial Workers Local 464A, Little Falls, N.J., told SN. Niccolai was among leaders of 12 local unions who met with A&P officials Wednesday for what Niccolai described as a periodic business update. “He has got a very good handle on overseeing and operating a supermarket chain.”

Company officials weren’t immediately available for comment. Niccolai said the company did not provide an update on its efforts to sell its Food Emporium chain. He said discussion centered on union desires to win back concessions they had made during A&P’s bankruptcy proceedings if and when the company becomes profitable again.

Mays’ experience includes stints with the board of directors of A&P and Pathmark, and he was chief executive officer of Wild Oats Markets. Mays more recently was CEO of Source Interlink, a publishing company that was also owned by Yucaipa.

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