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Aaron Wiese was named Hy-Vee’s next CEO, effective Oct. 1, the West Des Moines-based retail chain announced late Wednesday.
Randy Edeker will remain chairman of the chain.
Wiese currently is vice chairman of Hy-Vee and president of the company’s supply chain and subsidiaries.
Jeremy Gosch will continue as president and chief operating officer of Hy-Vee, overseeing retail operations.
“With this announcement, I can continue to focus on Hy-Vee’s strategy and evolution in today’s changing environment while Jeremy can focus on overseeing our stores and Aaron can focus on the day-to-day operations of the overall company,” Edeker said in a news release.
Wiese started with Hy-Vee in 1993 while in college. After graduating, he served in various operations leadership roles and in 2012 joined Hy-Vee’s executive staff as director, real estate strategic planning.
In 2013 became director, health/wellness strategic planning. In 2014, he was promoted to assistant vice president, specialty pharmacy, and then vice president for business development, at Amber Specialty Pharmacy.
Over the next six years, Wiese was instrumental in leading multiple facets of Hy-Vee’s health and wellness division, as well as serving as president of Hy-Vee subsidiary Amber Specialty Pharmacy for several years.
He was promoted to the executive vice president level in December 2020, and became president of digital growth and co-chief operating officer in April 2021. He was promoted to his current position in December 2021.
Hy-Vee in late April had asked “up to 500 additional employees” to move from corporate-level jobs to retail positions at its stores.
The month before it cut 121 corporate-level positions, with 102 of those employees offered retail positions at its stores.
In a full-page advertisement in the April 27 Gazette, the company laid out the current headwinds it says it and other companies in the retail food sector face. It cited economic challenges and “uncertain times ahead.”
It also noted in that statement measures already implemented in recent years that include cutting back store hours, “restructuring” its store leadership by adding district director and manager positions, and reducing the number of locations that service its Aisles Online orders.
Hy-Vee in that statement did not specifically address its previously announced expansion plans into Indiana, Alabama, Kentucky and Tennessee.
Hy-Vee has more than 285 retail stores across eight Midwestern states and reports sales of more than $13 billion annually.