Barney Barnett, vice chairman of Publix Super Markets Inc., plans to retire next month after 50 years at the Southeastern supermarket chain.
Publix said Friday that Barnett will retire effective April 30. The Lakeland, Fla.-based company has named Barnett vice chairman emeritus and plans to formally recognize his new role at its annual shareholders meeting on April 16. He also will remain on the board of Publix Super Markets Charities.
Publix noted that Barnett (left) is one of only 20 associates who have reached the milestone of 50 years at the company.
Barnett began his Publix career in 1969 as an internal auditor in Lakeland. He was promoted to controller in 1977 and then vice president of administration in 1986. In 1988, Barnett was named executive vice president, and in 1998 he assumed his current post.
“We are grateful for Barney’s 50 years of service to Publix, our associates, our customers and the communities we serve. His commitment to our culture has helped pave the path for our future successes,” Publix CEO Todd Jones said in a statement. “It has been an honor and privilege to work alongside him. We will miss him but also wish him well as he starts this next chapter of his life.”
Publix said Barnett plans to spend more time with his wife, Carol Jenkins Barnett, and they will continue their years of community service. A daughter of Publix founder George W. Jenkins, Carol Jenkins Barnett stepped down from the Publix board in mid-June 2016 after being diagnosed with younger onset Alzheimer’s disease. She remains president of Publix Super Market Charities.
Employee-owned Publix, which had 2018 sales of $36.1 billion, currently operates 1,215 stores in Florida, Georgia, Alabama, Tennessee, South Carolina, North Carolina and Virginia.