CEO of Winn-Dixie parent company is resigning June 30 ‘to take up another opportunity.’
By Mark Basch, Contributing Writer
Ian McLeod, who came from Australia two years ago to run the parent of the Winn-Dixie grocery chain, is leaving the company.
Jacksonville-based Southeastern Grocers, which operates Winn-Dixie and three other supermarket chains, announced Monday that McLeod is resigning June 30 “to take up another opportunity.” The company gave no other details.
Chief Operating Officer Anthony Hucker will take over as interim president and chief executive officer to replace McLeod.
Hucker joined the company last year after previously serving as president and chief operating officer of Schnucks, a Midwestern food retailer.
McLeod came to Southeastern Grocers in March 2015 after serving as CEO of Coles, a company which operated 2,300 grocery, liquor and convenience stores in Australia.
Under McLeod’s leadership, Southeastern Grocers has made several changes, including rebranding some Winn-Dixie stores under the discounted brand Harveys and launching the Fresco y Mas brand aimed at Hispanic shoppers in South Florida.
The company operates about 740 stores in eight Southeastern states under the Winn-Dixie, Bi-Lo, Harveys and Fresco y Mas banners.
The company also moved its headquarters under McLeod from the longtime Winn-Dixie offices at 5050 Edgewood Court on the Westside to the Prominence office park off Baymeadows Road on the Southside.
“It has been a difficult decision to leave my role as President and CEO of Southeastern Grocers, but I believe the new position will be a positive opportunity for me and in the best interests my family,” McLeod said in a company news release without giving more details.
The company said it is initiating a search for a successor but did not say if Hucker is a candidate. The news release did say Hucker has a strong familiarity with the company as COO.
“He brings extensive knowledge of the retail grocery sector, with more than 18 years of experience in leadership roles across our industry in the U.S.,” it said.