Publix Vice President of Customer Experience Bob Bechtel has announced his decision to retire after 45 years with the retailer. Bechtel’s last day is March 31.
Bechtel, 60, started his Publix career in 1978 as a front service clerk in Sarasota, Florida. He worked in various positions before being promoted to store manager in 1991, Lakeland Division district manager in 1995, regional director in 2008 and Miami Division vice president in 2016. He was promoted to his current position in 2019. Bechtel received the 2005 President’s Award for perpetuating diversity and inclusion in the workplace.
“Bob has spent his career focusing on customer service,” said Publix CEO Kevin Murphy. “Through his leadership and efforts, he has helped our associates provide a premier shopping environment that has exceeded our customers’ expectations and helped create raving fans at Publix. We thank Bob for his many years of service to Publix and wish him the best in his retirement.”
Bechtel and his wife, Kathy, said they are looking forward to traveling, camping and spending time with their grandchildren.
With Bechtel’s retirement, Publix is promoting of Publix Director of Omnichannel David Finger to vice president of customer experience.
Finger, 47, started his Publix career in 1993 as a front service clerk in Mt. Dora, Florida. He worked in the customer service department before transferring to the corporate office in 2000. He worked in various roles before being promoted in 2015 to director of retail scheduling and forecasting. In 2017, he transferred to his current role.
Publix, the largest employee-owned company in the U.S., has over 250,000 associates and currently operates 1,365 stores in Florida, Georgia, Alabama, Tennessee, South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia and Kentucky.