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Hy-Vee chief executive Ric Jurgens to retire

WEST DES MOINES, Iowa — Ric Jurgens, chairman and CEO of Midwestern supermarket chain Hy-Vee, will retire on June 1, the company said Wednesday.

Jurgens, 62, began working for Hy-Vee 42 years ago while a student at Iowa State University, taking a full-time position after his graduation. In 1995, he was named SVP and chief administrative officer, becoming president in 2001, CEO in 2003 and chairman in 2006. Jurgens said he will ask the company's board of directors to elect president and COO Randy Edeker as chairman and CEO.

"I feel extremely fortunate to have spent my entire career working for a great company filled with great people," Jurgens said. "It has been an honor to lead a team of nearly 60,000 employees dedicated to our mission of making lives easier, healthier and happier, and I'm proud of the things we have been able to accomplish together as a Hy-Vee family."

Under Jurgens' tenure, the 235-store chain introduced a number of initiatives, such as in-store dietitians, the NuVal nutritional scoring system and the Hy-Vee triathlon. In January 2010, Hy-Vee partnered with Omaha, Neb.-based Amber Pharmacy to form Hy-Vee Pharmacy Solutions, which provides specialty pharmacy services through Hy-Vee's retail stores. This year, Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad named Jurgen co-chair of the Healthiest State Initiative.

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