Randy Edeker has had a remarkable run at Hy-Vee. Under his leadership as chairman and chief executive officer of the Midwestern grocer, the company extended its reach from food retailing and pharmacy to include other health and wellness services, e-commerce, restaurants and distribution. In the process, sales nearly doubled, and Hy-Vee emerged as an innovator in the supermarket sector and beyond.
Now Edeker is laying the groundwork for Hy-Vee’s future, instituting a management structure that reflects the scale and complexity of the $13 billion company. At the beginning of October, Edeker will relinquish the role of CEO, which going forward will be shared by Jeremy Gosch and Aaron Wiese. The change will leverage the respective strengths and experience of the two Hy-Vee veterans, with the former responsible for the core business (Hy-Vee stores, Dollar Fresh Market, Hy-Vee Fast & Fresh, Wall to Wall Wine and Spirits, and Wahlburgers), while the latter will oversee e-commerce platforms (WholeLotta Good, Hy-VeeDeals.com, Hy-Vee Aisles Online, PetShip and RedBox Rx), as well as other innovative health care and technology ventures (including Hy-Vee HealthMarkets, Vivid Clear Rx, Amber Specialty Pharmacy, HSTV and Bellissima.)
“I’m only the fourth CEO in Hy-Vee’s 92 years,” says Edeker, who will remain chairman and take on the additional title of executive director at the beginning of October. “In the past, we haven’t been great at transitions, so I told myself that I wanted to lay out what we’re doing and be very transparent. As we look at the business and how diversified it has become, it was clear that there are really several distinct areas that I want leadership to own. Aaron and Jeremy are amazing executives who are right for the roles that they’re taking on.”
Edeker plans to “transition out” of Hy-Vee over the next several years. In the meantime, he will be actively involved in continuing to shape the company’s evolution.
“The new structure gives me the ability to stay involved and focus on more selective projects that can use my expertise to help move Hy-Vee forward,” he comments. “It’s a critical time for our company and for all of retail.”
Hy-Vee is fortunate indeed to have two proven leaders in Gosch and Wiese, who have demonstrated that they are capable of ensuring the company continues to perform at the top of its game, while Edeker turns his attention to what comes next.