Ken Wicker will join Festival Foods early next month as senior vice president of fresh foods.
Green Bay, Wis.-based Festival Foods said Monday that Wicker, who has spent 35 years at Southeastern Grocers, is slated to start in his new post on Feb. 8. Most recently, he served as senior vice president of fresh foods for Jacksonville, Fla.-based Southeastern Grocers, the parent company of the Bi-Lo, Fresco y Más, Harveys Supermarket and Winn-Dixie supermarket chains.
“Ken brings great passion to fresh foods, and we are excited about his vast experience in other areas of grocery leadership,” Randy Munns, executive vice president and chief operating officer at Festival Foods, said in a statement.
Wicker (left) started his career serving customers and later advanced to meat clerk, produce manager and store manager positions. He also held store support roles in loss prevention and labor management and as regional fresh foods manager, category manager for fresh meat, district manager, director of store operations and director of meat and seafood.
Most of Wicker’s career — more than 26 years — was spent at Greenville, S.C.-based Bi-Lo, which merged with Winn-Dixie Stores in March 2012 to become Bi-Lo Holding and then later combined with Harveys and Fresco y Más to form Southeastern Grocers in September 2013. Before becoming senior vice president of fresh merchandising at Southeastern Grocers, he served as regional vice president for Harveys and, prior to that, as director of store operations for Bi-Lo.
The hiring of Wicker marks the second executive change announcement by Festival Foods in the past month. In late December, the company promoted Munns to COO and named Frank Abnet to succeed the retiring Mike Mesich as senior vice president of operations. Also promoted were Sean Sanders to vice president of center store and Joe Zink to vice president of center store merchandising.
Family- and employee-owned Festival Foods operates 33 full-service supermarkets across Wisconsin.