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Loblaw makes leadership changes

Loblaw has announced a string of executive moves, including the appointment of Mark Butler as EVP integration, who is charged with integrating the recently acquired Shoppers Drug Mart.

In the newly created role, Butler will take on responsibility for planning the integration of Shoppers Drug Mart, while ensuring it remains an independent division. And subject to completion of the transaction following review by the Competition Bureau, Butler will lead the team charged with delivering synergies. He has 37 years with Loblaw, and most recently was EVP conventional division.

"Mark Butler is a seasoned operator with deep expertise and relationships in the key areas we have targeted for synergies. We are committed to achieving the targets we have outlined, and I am confident that Mark and his team will deliver on those objectives," Vicente Trius, president of Loblaw Cos., stated.

Also assuming a newly created role within the company is Grant Froese, who has been appointed chief administrative officer. Froese assumes responsibility for supply chain, IT and SAP implementation, as well as the division support functions of control brands, e-commerce, goods not for resale, offshore procurement and marketing. He has more than 35 years of experience at Loblaw and most recently held the position of EVP discount division.

"The appointment of Grant Froese as chief administrative officer brings important shared service functions, including IT and Supply chain, under a single experienced executive as we enter the next key phase of building Loblaw's competitiveness and efficiency," Trius stated. "Grant's combination of deep operational and merchandising experience is an ideal fit as we ramp up the IT roll-out to our store network and drive our efficiency agenda to become a more agile company."

"With improved positioning and an enhanced customer offer, our discount and conventional divisions are well positioned with a strong internal leadership team ready to build on the foundation set by Grant and Mark," Trius added. "We are excited to announce the appointment of two experienced executives, Garry Senecal and Andrew Iacobucci, to lead our Conventional and Discount divisions, respectively."

Senecal becomes EVP of the conventional division, and continues to lead the Health and Wellness team, which includes Loblaw's current pharmacy, optical and Natural Value offerings. Senecal brings more than 22 years of Canadian and international store operations, merchandising, brands and marketing experience to the role.

Iacobucci becomes EVP of the discount division. He joined Loblaw in 2005 and brings a background in merchandising, operations and strategy to the role as a leader of the Discount division since 2011.

Having successfully completed the design and build phases of the supply chain and IT infrastructure project, Peter McMahon will be leaving the company, the retailer stated.

"As COO, Peter was instrumental in the revitalization of our supply chain and the development of the SAP platform and digital strategy," Trius stated. "We thank Peter for his commitment and contribution to the company, and wish him the very best in his future endeavours."

In a separate release, Loblaw offered its sympathies on the passing of one of its colleagues, Dave Nichol. 

"We are deeply saddened and our thoughts and prayers go out to Dave's family," said Galen G. Weston, executive chairman. "Dave's passion for food and his vision helped to transform the way Canadians eat, and he has left a tremendous legacy that endures in the company today. He will be missed by all who had the opportunity to work with him and benefit from his guidance and friendship."

Nichol joined Loblaw in 1972 and held various roles with the company, including president of Loblaw Supermarkets and head of the product development team. He is credited with making significant contributions to Loblaw, most notably considered to be the force behind establishing the iconic President's Choice and Noname brands. 

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