Midwestern grocer Hy-Vee has named Aaron Wiese as its next chief executive officer, succeeding current Chairman and CEO Randy Edeker.
Plans call Edeker to give the CEO reins over to Wiese, now company vice chairman and president of Hy-Vee Supply Chain and Subsidiaries, on Oct. 1, Hy-Vee said late Wednesday.
Edeker (pictured left), who has held the CEO post at the West Des Moines, Iowa-based company for over 10 years, will continue as chairman after Wiese’s ascension to chief executive.
Jeremy Gosch will remain president and chief operating officer, overseeing all retail operations. With the succession, Wiese and Gosch will continue to report to Edeker, Hy-Vee noted.
“Both Aaron and Jeremy have been trusted leaders of our executive team for many years, and I am thankful for the leadership they continue to provide our great company,” Edeker said in a statement. “With this announcement, I can continue to focus on Hy-Vee’s strategy and evolution in today’s changing environment, while Jeremy can focus on overseeing our stores and Aaron can focus on the day-to-day operations of the overall company.”
Wiese and Gosch were elevated to their current roles in December, when Hy-Vee announced the retirement of Jay Marshall, vice chairman and president of Hy-Vee Supply Chain and Subsidiaries, and the transfer of the president’s title to Gosch, who also became the sole COO. Previously, Wiese served as president of digital growth and co-COO and Gosch as president of retail operations and co-COO.
At the time, Hy-Vee also announced the retirement of Mike Skokan, executive vice president, chief financial officer and treasurer, and appointment of Andy Schreiner to senior vice president, CFO and treasurer.
“Aaron is ready to help me lead the company as chief executive officer,” Edeker commented. “He has a strong vision for the total breadth of our company and is extremely knowledgeable in many areas. With Aaron as CEO, Hy-Vee continues to be positioned for incredible growth and innovation.”
Wiese (pictured left) began his Hy-Vee career in 1993 while in college. After graduation, he served in various operations leadership roles at the grocery chain. In 2012, Wiese joined Hy-Vee’s executive staff as director of real estate strategic planning, and the following year he became director of health and wellness strategic planning. He was promoted to assistant vice president of specialty pharmacy and then vice president of business development at Amber Specialty Pharmacy, a Hy-Vee subsidiary, in 2014.
Over the next six years, Wiese played pivotal roles in Hy-Vee’s health and wellness division, during which time he also served as president of Hy-Vee subsidiary Amber Specialty Pharmacy for several years. He was promoted to executive vice president in December 2020 and was appointed president of digital growth and co-COO in April 2021.
Gosch represents just the fifth president in Hy-Vee’s 92-year history. He 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.
During the ensuing six years, Gosch (pictured left) held several executive leadership posts and, in early 2018, was promoted to executive vice president, co-COO, chief marketing officer and, later that year, transitioned into chief operating officer. In April 2021, Gosch was named president of retail operations and co-COO.
“Jeremy has incredible knowledge of our retail business and has a strong sense of urgency to meet the challenging times we live in today,” Edeker stated. “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.”
Edeker has served as Hy-Vee’s president, CEO and chairman since June 2012, when he succeeded then-Chairman and CEO Ric Jurgens — becoming only the fourth company officer to hold those titles since the retailer’s founding in 1930. He’s also known as an industry leader, serving as chairman of the National Association of Chain Drug Stores for the 2015-16 term and as the current chairman of FMI-The Food Industry Association.
At Hy-Vee for over 40 years, Edeker has held positions at every level of the company. He joined Hy-Vee as a part-time employee at the Chariton, Iowa, store and moved up through the ranks, working at retail stores in four states before getting his first store director assignment at Columbus, Neb., in 1993.
Edeker was promoted to Hy-Vee’s corporate staff in 1995 and served as a director of operations, overseeing stores in two regions. In 2004, he was elected vice president of marketing and then, two years later, was elevated to senior vice president of retail operations. In 2008, he was named executive vice president and COO, followed by an appointment to president, taking over that post from Jurgens, in late 2009. Edeker held the titles of president and COO of Hy-Vee when he was named chairman and CEO in 2012.
During his tenure as CEO at Hy-Vee, Edeker most recently 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. 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.