Ling Named CEO at Unified

COMMERCE, Calif. — Unified Grocers [1] here said Monday it has named Bob Ling chief executive officer, succeeding the retiring Al Plamann, effective May 1.

Ling has been president of the member-owned cooperative since mid-2011.

According to Plamann, "The succession plan the board and senior management put in place more than a year ago is now setting the stage for future growth. I believe the future for Unified is in very good hands."

Bob Ling
Bob Ling

Ling joined the company in 1996 as executive vice president, general counsel and secretary, with responsibilities for human resources, labor relations, real estate and government relations. He was formerly vice president, general counsel and secretary for MegaFoods, Mesa, Ariz., and served briefly as interim president and CEO of the company. Earlier he was a vice president of Reliable Drug Stores, Indianapolis, and before that a partner in a Milwaukee law firm, concentrating on employment and labor law.

Read more: Plamann to Retire at Unified [2]

Dick Goodspeed, Unified's chairman, said, "Having spent 16 years as a top executive at our company, Bob understands our business, he knows our retail members and customers, he has built strong relationships with the vendor community and he works well with our associates."

Goodspeed was re-elected chairman — a position he has held since 2010 — at Unified's annual meeting last week, and Lou Amen, chairman of Super A Foods, Paramount, Calif., was re-elected first vice chairman. Jay T. McCormack, president and CEO of Rio Ranch Markets, Riverside, Calif., was elected second vice chairman, succeeding John Najjar, president of Cardiff Seaside Market, Cardiff, Calif.

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