Ronald Freeman, chief financial officer and vice president of finance at Ingles Markets, is slated to retire next month after nearly 17 years with the company.
Plans call for Freeman to retire on Feb. 16, Asheville, N.C.-based Ingles said. In an 8-K filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, the company reported that it will begin a search for a new CFO immediately and consider both internal and external candidates.
Ronald Freeman, chief financial officer at Ingles Markets (photo courtesy of the Southern Conference)
With the move, Freeman won’t stand for re-election to the regional grocer’s board of directors at Ingles’ annual shareholders meeting on Feb. 15.
Freeman joined Ingles as CFO in mid-April 2005 following the resignation of Brenda Tudor. Previously, he served as CFO of Silver-Line Plastics, a PVC pipe manufacturing company based in Asheville.
Heading into retirement, Freeman leaves Ingles on a high note. The company reported last month that, for the 2021 fiscal year ended Sept. 25, net sales grew 8.2% to $4.99 billion, building on 9.7% growth to $4.61 billion in fiscal 2020 and more than double the $2.3 billion in net sales for fiscal 2005, the year he joined the retailer.
“We regret that Ron Freeman is retiring from the company,” Chairman Robert Ingle said in a statement. “He is a person of the highest caliber and utmost integrity, who has been a loyal and dedicated member of our team. We have benefited greatly from his counsel, and we are grateful for the company’s strong financial position that has been created under his stewardship. We wish him the best of luck in his retirement.”
Ingles Markets finished fiscal 2021 with 198 supermarkets in six states, including 75 in North Carolina, 65 in Georgia, 35 in South Carolina, 21 in Tennessee, and one apiece in Virginia and Alabama. Nine of the locations are under the Sav-Mor banner, a retail concept that serves smaller shopping areas and carries dry groceries, dairy, fresh meat and produce. Ingles also currently operates 111 in-store pharmacies, 107 fuel centers and a fluid dairy facility that supplies its supermarkets and unaffiliated customers.