Inside This Issue - News
Next generation to take helm at Giant Eagle
November 28th, 2011
PITTSBURGH – The top leadership post at Giant Eagle Inc. is staying in the family.
A new chief executive officer, Laura Shapira Karet, is set to take the reins at the regional supermarket chain early next year. She is the daughter of David Shapira, who after more than three decades as CEO is slated to become executive chairman.
Plans call for Karet to take over as CEO on January 9, at which time chief operating officer John Lucot also will add the title of president, according to the family-run food and drug retailer.
The 42-year-old Karet most recently served as senior executive vice president and chief strategy officer. Giant Eagle noted that she was responsible for the development and management of the company’s long-term business plan as well as setting the direction for its corporate priorities and innovations.
"Laura has an extensive background in food retailing and manufacturing, both within and outside of Giant Eagle," stated Shapira, who has served Giant Eagle for 41 years of its 80-year history and has held the CEO post since 1980. "Her amiable and open style has won the respect of our 36,000 team members, customers, suppliers and business partners."
Karet joined Giant Eagle in 2000 as vice president of marketing. Before that, she held marketing executive positions at Sara Lee Corp. from 1997 to 2000, including director of branded marketing for the bakery division, and served in several brand management roles at Procter & Gamble Co. from 1990 to 1997 for such household-name products as Crisco shortening, Folgers coffee, Giorgio Beverly Hills fragrances and Secret antiperspirant.
"Our company’s success is made possible by the commitment to our founding principles, and the continued dedication of 36,000 team members who deliver the Giant Eagle experience to customers each day," Karet commented. "I hope to emulate the type of leader that my father has been for our company while continuing to cultivate a dedication to high-quality foods, great customer service and investing in the communities we serve."
Lucot’s career at Giant Eagle spans almost four decades. He started at the company in 1974 as a supermarket clerk, and his tenure at the chain has included executive positions in distribution, retail development, real estate and operations.
As COO, the 54-year-old Lucot has been instrumental in the development of Giant Eagle’s GetGo, real estate and independent operations businesses while investing hundreds of millions of dollars in capital reimbursement to ensure that the company’s stores deliver a top-notch shopping experience, according to Giant Eagle.
"John has been an integral part of our company’s success for decades," Shapira noted. "His exhaustive understanding of how the business functions at all levels has been invaluable to the organization and will continue to serve Giant Eagle well in his new capacity."
Giant Eagle added that over the past decade, with Karet and Lucot as part of the senior leadership team, the retailer has seen significant growth.
For example, during that time, the company entered new markets such as Frederick, Md., and Toledo, Ohio; continued its expansion in Columbus, Ohio; and launched new banners such as GetGo, Giant Eagle Express, Valu King and Market District. The chain also rolled out its fuelperks! gasoline rewards program. At the same time it enhanced its own brands program, which now includes more than 12,000 private label products.
With about $9.3 billion in annual sales, Giant Eagle has 170 corporate and 58 independently owned and operated supermarkets plus 166 fuel and convenience stores in western Pennsylvania, Ohio, north central West Virginia and Maryland.