On May 16, 2019 Empire Company Limited together with its wholly-owned subsidiary Sobeys Inc. announced changes to its Executive Committee. The new national structure comes two years after the company announced its Project Sunrise transformation initiative. The organization believes the executive changes will help launch stronger execution and innovation as the Company enters the final phase of its Sunrise transformation initiative and sets its sights on stronger execution, innovation and growth.
“The heavy lifting of Project Sunrise is almost done and I couldn’t be happier with the exceptional progress the team continues to make. This is a significantly improved company from that of even a year ago,” said Michael Medline, President and CEO. “The time is right to set our sights on the next phase of growth, with leaders who will integrate and unify our efforts further, enhance execution and accelerate innovation for the long-term—all with the aim of thrilling our customers,” Medline said.
Effective immediately, Pierre St-Laurent was appointed to the newly created role of COO, Full Service. St-Laurent will assume responsibility for merchandising, retail operations, and supply chain across the company’s full service and community banners, including Sobeys, Safeway, IGA, Thrifty Foods and Foodland.
The role of Michael Vels, CFO was also expanded to include Empire’s Information Technology team. Together with Real Estate, Indirect Sourcing, and the Enterprise Project Management Office that currently report to Vels, Information Technology will be focused on powering the next phase of growth and digital innovation for the Company. A new CIO, who has not yet been appointed will also report to Vels.
Empire also announced that Luc L’Archeveque, Senior Vice President, Merchandising and General Manager, Quebec, and Lorne MacLean, Senior Vice President, Retail Operations, both of whom now report to Pierre St-Laurent, join the Executive Committee effective immediately.
The company is also currently searching for a Head of Innovation, who will report directly to the President and CEO and will also join the Executive Committee. As part of a planned transition, Lyne Castonguay, EVP Store Experience, will leave Empire as she continues to pursue her career aspirations.
With these leadership announcements, Empire announced it was further solidifying a truly national team, strengthening and streamlining ties between key functions, and building Empire’s ability to innovate for the long-term.