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Shelley Broader, who has led Delhaize-owned Sweetbay Supermarkets since 2002 and spearheaded its transformation to a fresh foods-driven business from an aging Kash ‘n Karry brand, announced that she is leaving the company on June 15 to accept another retailing position outside the supermarket industry.

No successor has been named.

Broader came to Sweetbay from Hannaford Bros., which she joined in 1991 after a career in investment banking.

"I consider it an honor to have been chosen to help create this new grocery concept,” said Broader. “And although I will be leaving the food sector, I'll always treasure the great spirit and energy the Sweetbay team has shown from the first day we began. The company is in excellent hands, and I know Sweetbay has a bright future. My Sweetbay experience has not only allowed me to work with some remarkable people, but I really have grown to care greatly for the Tampa Bay community, and I will miss being part of it when I leave to pursue this new opportunity.”

Ron Hodge, president and CEO of Hannaford Bros., released the following statement: “Shelley has been the driving force in the development of the Sweetbay concept and brand, and her passion for the business has helped build a new, vital organization in a very short period of time. We will benefit from her leadership for years to come.”

KC's View:
I’ve gotten to know Shelley fairly well over the past few years, and I have to admit that I report this news with a certain amount of sadness. I like her immensely – for her business smarts, dedication, contagious enthusiasm and passion for food, all of which have become part of the Sweetbay culture. The supermarket industry needs more people like her, not fewer…and it is a shame that she’s leaving the business.

(More than a few people have suggested to me in recent days that Shelley would be an ideal person to be the new CEO at the Food Marketing Institute…I guess that’s not going to happen if she leaves the business. Too bad.)