The new year is almost upon us, and Smart & Final is taking on 2022 with a few changes to its leadership team. Scott Drew, the current Chief Operating Officer, will be ascending to the role of President as Dave Hirz, the current President and Chief Executive Officer, prepares to retire on February 1, 2022.
“I’m excited for the opportunity to lead our exceptional team of associates and build upon Smart & Final’s 150-year-old history,” said Drew. “Our differentiated offering, which attracts both business and household customers, put us in a unique position to grow the business and capitalize on our momentum during the past few years.”
According to the release, Drew joined Smart & Final in March 2010 and has occupied the role of COO since June 2020. In 1977, the retail expert began his career as a courtesy clerk. With almost 45 years clocked in the grocery industry, Drew also served as Vice President of Store Operations for The Kroger Company in Indianapolis, where he managed more than 150 stores across five states.
Drew’s appointment follows the recent announcement that the company’s current President and CEO, Dave Hirz, will be stepping down after almost 12 years.
Hirz began his career in the food industry at the age of 16 and has had a successful career occupying positions such as President at both Ralphs and Food For Less. Hirz joined Smart & Final as President and COO in 2010 and was promoted to CEO in 2012.
“I’m proud to have led such a successful and storied brand,” said Hirz. “The grocery industry has changed completely since I joined Smart & Final almost 12 years ago, and it’s a testament to our leadership team and our amazing associates that we have weathered these changes and become the strong brand that we are today. Scott is a remarkable leader, and I’m delighted to be leaving Smart & Final in his hands."
Honored for his distinguished career, Hirz was recognized as the 2015 Food Industry Executive of the Year by the University of Southern California and is a past recipient of numerous awards, including Orange County Council of the Boy Scouts of America Good Scout Award, California State University, Fullerton’s Vision and Visionary award, Olive Crest’s Founders Award, and the National Conference for Community and Justices’ Humanitarian of the Year Award.
“Dave Hirz is a legend in the grocery industry, and we are grateful for his leadership during his many years of service,” said Carlos Smith, President and Chief Executive Officer of Chedraui USA, formerly known as Bodega Latina, which comprises the organization’s United States-based store banners, Smart & Final, El Super, and Fiesta Mart. “He led this business through the expansion of our Extra! store format, the introduction of eCommerce and delivery, and the challenges of a worldwide pandemic. He has left an indelible mark on Smart & Final, and his numerous contributions will not be forgotten.”
As Drew steps into the role of President following Hirz’s retirement, he will utilize his experience in the retail industry to forge new opportunities for the Smart & Final brand.
“Smart & Final’s unique go-to-market strategy and 150-year-old legacy truly resonates with consumers,” Smith added. “We are pleased to announce Scott’s promotion as President of Smart & Final. His deep industry experience and years of operational leadership at Smart & Final will drive the brand’s continued success.”
A hearty congratulations to both Scott Drew and Dave Hirz as they start their next phases!