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The Jacksonville Business Journal reports that Ian McLeod, CEO of Southeastern Grocers - parent company to Bi-Lo, Winn-Dixie and Harveys - is stepping down after less than two-and-a-half years in the job.

He will be succeeded on an interim basis by the company's COO, Anthony Hucker, the former president/COO of Schnuck Markets. Hucker also is a veteran of Walmart and Aldi's UK operations.

The Journal notes that McLeod - a Scotsman who made his reputation in Australia, "led the company in laying off a few hundred workers and then went on to roll out an upscaling strategy," which never seemed to roll out to the extent originally intended. "Other changes followed, though, including some South Florida Winn-Dixies being changed to a new Hispanic banner, Fresco Y Mas. In Jacksonville and elsewhere, several Bi-Lo and Winn-Dixie stores were changed to the Harvey's banner, which focuses on lower prices." The company also announced that it was closing 20 stores, and last year's revenues were down by more than seven percent.

McLeod is said to be leaving for another, as-yet unspecified job, but he said in a statement that "it has been a difficult decision to leave my role as president and CEO of Southeastern Grocers, but I believe the new position will be a positive opportunity for me and in the best interests [of] my family."
KC's View:
Whoever the company finally names as CEO, it better be someone who has a vision for how to compete against Amazon on one end and Aldi/Lidl on the other.