The Great Atlantic and Pacific Tea Company GAP (NYSE), often referred to as as supermarket chain A&P, has appointed Sam Martin its new CEO and Chairman. The company has been struggling. Martin who just left his position as COO for Office Max replaces Ron Marshall as the CEO. Marshall, according to the press release,
left his position just after five months at the helm.
The struggling retailer is faced with another key management change at the top while trying to right itself. Just yesterday as part of the CEO announcement the company also announced its quarterly earnings which were far from reassuring. The firm reported a fiscal quarterly loss of $122 million. While the selection of a CEO at the firm has been an example in how CEO selections should not be made, Martin’s selection may actually be the medicine the firm needs.
Martin, who some speculated wanted to become the CEO of Office Max and may have known he was going to be passed over, has the requisite qualifications to help The Great Atlantic and Pacific Tea Company right itself has both high level operational expertise and a background in the food/supermarket business. Prior to his stint as COO at Office Max, which began back in 2007, Martin served as an executive at Wild Oats before it was acquired by Whole Foods. Prior to his work with Wild Oats Martin served with a number of other supermarket/food chains (Shopko stores and Fred Meyer).
Supermarket chains in general have been struggling during the economic recession as consumers seek out new ways to reduce their food bills and still get convenience shopping. Martin has a real challenge ahead of him but he appears to have the right type of expertise and business acumen to make a go of it. Keep a close eye on the company there may be some positive surprises over the next year.