Seattle drug chain to launch search for new chief executive
SEATTLE — After just two years on the job, Bartell Drugs chief executive officer Brian Unmacht has resigned.
Bartell Drugs has confirmed a published report that Unmacht — the first person outside the Bartell family to hold the president and CEO title — resigned nearly two weeks ago.
“Brian Unmacht resigned his position effective March 27 and has left the company to pursue other personal and professional opportunities,” Ric Brewer, senior communications manager at Bartell Drugs, said in a statement. We have not named a new CEO yet, and the senior executive team led by CFO Rob Jensen is handling our day-to-day operations.
“The Bartell family remain as owners, and [chairman] George Bartell and [vice chair] Jean Barber retain their positions on our board of directors,” Brewer added. “They do not intend to take over management of the company.”
Unmacht was appointed CEO of Bartell Drugs in April 2015, taking the reins from 25-year chief executive George Bartell as the head of the now 126-year-old, family-owned drug chain. George Bartell remained chairman, and his sister Jean Bartell Barber continued to serve as vice chair and treasurer.
“We will soon be launching a formal search for a new CEO,” Brewer stated. “The exact nature of the search is still being worked out, so we are not able to announce the steps that will involve at this time.”
Unmacht had joined Bartell Drugs as president in January 2015. He previously was executive vice president and chief operating officer of outdoor gear and apparel retailer REI (Recreational Equipment Inc.) and had served on Bartell Drugs’ board since 2011.
When Unmacht was named president, George Bartell noted that his appointment reflected the company’s succession plans, with members of the fourth generation of the Bartell family engaged in the retailer’s succession transition.