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Smith takes chairman role at Stater Bros.

Stater Bros. Holdings, parent of the Stater Bros. Markets chain, said Monday that its board has elected Phillip J. Smith to the position of chairman of the board of the San Bernardino, Calif.-based retailer. Smith who has more than 40 years of grocery experience including nearly 30 with Stater Bros., succeeds Jack H. Brown as chairman. Brown passed away last month.

Smith had been serving as vice chairman at the San Bernadino, Calif.-based retailer since 2012. 

“I knew Jack for over 40 years and worked closely with him at three different companies,” Smith said in a statement. “I learned a great deal from Jack’s mentorship and feel privileged to carry on the values and traditions Jack established while ensuring the company remains competitive in the Southern California supermarket industry.”

In his new position, Smith will provide guidance and leadership to the company’s executives and officers to ensure the continuity of Stater Bros. business operations and trusted brand.

Smith joined Stater Bros. in 1987 as the company’s controller. He was promoted in 1998 to VP-controller, and in 2000 was promoted to VP-controller and chief accounting officer. In 2006 Smith was promoted to CFO, EVP of finance and chief accounting officer.

Prior to joining Stater Bros., Smith served as VP and CFO of Market Basket Food Stores. From 1975 to 1984, he served as VP and controller for various divisions of Dallas-based Cullum Cos.

Smith holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Stephen F. Austin University. 

“Given Jack’s unwavering trust in Phil and long history of working together both within and outside of Stater Bros., I welcome and look forward to Phil’s mentorship and direction,” Stater Bros. President and CEO Pete Van Helden said. 

Smith was also elected to the position of chairman, president and CEO of Stater Bros. Holdings, the company said.

Stater Bros. operates 169 supermarkets in Southern California.

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