Less than one week after the announcement that J.K. Symancyk will be stepping down as President, Meijer has revealed that 26-year company veteran Rick Keyes will be his successor.
“I am truly humbled and honored to accept the role as president of Meijer,” Keyes said. “I joined this company as a front-line team member more than 25 years ago, and Meijer has provided me the opportunity to learn, grow and develop experiences across a variety of disciplines. I’m very much looking forward to working with our team members at all levels to ensure Meijer continues to grow and thrive.”
Keyes, began his career with the company as a pharmacist in Columbus, Ohio, but has been Executive Vice President of Supply Chain and Manufacturing since 2006. In that capacity he oversaw the retailer’s expansion into manufacturing with the acquisition of one dairy and construction of another, according to a press release, and pioneered initiatives ranging from the launch of a near-zero emission truck fleet to significant investments in lean distribution technologies.
“We are pleased to introduce Rick as our new President,” said Hank Meijer, Co-Chairman and Co-Chief Executive Officer. “Rick’s proven leadership has been an inspiration to our team. He has grown up with Meijer, excelling in positions in both pharmacy and store operations, and, most recently, building industry-leading supply chain and manufacturing operations.”
In the company’s release, Meijer commented on both Keyes’ positive affect on the sophistication of Meijer supply chain, and his place as a strong advocate for team members—especially increasing employment opportunities for persons with disabilities. Since 2012, Keyes has led an initiative at several Meijer distribution facilities to create job opportunities for persons with various levels of disability, partnering with several local non-profit agencies.
“A company can only be great if its team members feel valued and engaged, regardless of their role or level,” Keyes said. “Together with a strong senior leadership team, I’m looking forward to charting a course for our company where everyone can feel ownership for our success, while delivering the excellent customer service Meijer is known for.”
Keyes will be the 7th President in the company’s 81-year history. He is a native of Columbus, Ohio and a graduate of Ohio Northern University’s College of Pharmacy.