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The Independent Grocers Alliance (IGA) announced that John Ross, current President of Inmar Promotion Network, has been named the organization’s president/CEO succeeding current IGA Chairman, President and CEO Mark Batenic.

Ross will begin his tenure as CEO mid-October of 2017, while Batenic will remain Chairman of the Board until his retirement on December 31, 2018, transitioning in January of 2019 to Non-Executive Chairman.

In a note to members yesterday, Batenic wrote:

“John sees the dramatic and complex evolution of retail as an opportunity rather than a problem, and he has the knowledge and skills to bring that opportunity to life for IGA retailers.

“With more than 30 years of retail, data science and marketing experience, he has spearheaded the use of technology and data to improve the delivery of information, goods and services that make a difference in the lives of shoppers and those who serve them across the globe. In the process he has revolutionized countless brands—and even shopping as we know it—by marketing to shoppers in a way that makes them feel special, unique and heard.

“Making shoppers feel special, unique and heard. It's what IGA retailers do best, and now under John's leadership, they'll have the guidance and resources to continue doing it in ever-more modern and relevant ways.”

Batenic joined IGA to run its US operations in 2006 after a career with now-defunct wholesaler Fleming, and as executive vice president/CEO of Clemens Market, which also doesn’t exist as an independent entity anymore. In 2010, he succeeded Dr. Tom Haggai to run the company’s global operations.
KC's View:
Many IGA members are among the most vulnerable to the competitive challenges created by bigger and, let’s face it, more innovative companies, and so it is interesting that IGA has decided to bring someone in from the outside who has a background in data and marketing.

They’ve certainly got a lot of work to do in these areas, but IGA also has to find way to cut from its roster of stores the locations that simply do not meet certain standards for the modern supermarket.