As part of a leadership transition, Hy-Vee has named Jeremy Gosch as CEO and president of retail operations and vice chairman of the board of directors.
Plans call for Gosch, currently president and chief operating officer, overseeing all retail operations, to start in the new role on Oct 1., Hy-Vee reported Tuesday. The West Des Moines, Iowa-based grocer noted that Gosch will lead alongside Aaron Wiese, who late last month was promoted to CEO, president of Hy-Vee Supply Chain and Subsidiaries and vice chairman, effective Oct. 1.
In announcing the new appointment for Gosch (pictured left), Hy-Vee signaled the move to a dual CEO structure. On July 27, the company described Wiese as “Hy-Vee’s next CEO” in announcing that longtime CEO Randy Edeker was stepping down from that role to sharpen his focus on his duties as chairman and executive director and help guide the retailer’s strategy and evolution. Both Gosch and Wiese will continue to report to Edeker.
“As I look ahead to the future, we’ve reached a point where one person can no longer hold the title of chairman, CEO and president for the entire company,” Edeker said in a statement. “We have become more than just a grocer. With our focus on health and wellness, pharmacy, restaurants, grocery, distribution and digital assets, it’s time we evolved our leadership structure to best position the business for the future, which is why Jeremy will also serve as a CEO for the company.”
Hy-Vee noted that, this year, the company has launched several new divisions and has gone national with its ship-to-home online platforms, such as WholeLotta Good, Hy-VeeDeals and ShopPetShip and RedBox Rx. Hy-Vee also has hatched plans for a multistate expansion, including into Indiana, Kentucky, Tennessee and Alabama, which would extend the grocer’s retail footprint from eight to 12 Midwestern states and mark the largest footprint and growth expansion in the retailer’s more than 92-year history. The company added that it also has launched multiple national partnerships this fiscal year to improve the in-store customer experience and bring more value to shoppers.
Wiese (pictured left) and Gosch have served in dual-officer roles before. Prior to their current posts, Wiese was president of digital growth and co-COO and Gosch was president of retail operations and co-COO.
In the CEO role, Gosch also will lead the Hy-Vee’s supplier relationships and brick-and-mortar expansion across Hy-Vee’s current Midwestern as well as its future markets in the Southeast.
“With Jeremy’s retail and in-store experience, he has incredible knowledge of our retail business and has a strong sense of urgency to meet the challenging times we live in today,” stated Edeker, who has served as Hy-Vee’s president, CEO and chairman since June 2012. “He has a great understanding of how we need to continue to evolve our company to grow, which will keep us on a path toward continued success as one of the best grocers in the U.S.”
Gosch came to Hy-Vee as a part-time clerk in 1995 and then spent the next 12 years in retail operations management roles, including store director at multiple locations. In 2012, he joined Hy-Vee’s executive staff when he was promoted to assistant vice president of operations for the northeast region. Gosch was elevated to president and COO in December, a promotion that made him just the fifth company president in Hy-Vee’s history.
“It’s imperative that Hy-Vee has excellent leaders overseeing the day-to-day responsibilities for both our growing retail operations and subsidiary operations,” said Edeker. “Both Jeremy and Aaron bring unique strengths to the table with complementary leadership styles that will guide Hy-Vee well into the future.”
Hy-Vee now generates annual sales of over $13 billion and operates more than 285 stores in Iowa, Illinois, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, South Dakota and Wisconsin.