The company said the move reflects a change of focus for majority owner and chief executive officer Michael Teel, who intends to spend more time in the community encouraging vendors, farmers and government agencies to join Raley’s in helping consumers make more nutritious food choices in order to lead healthier and happier lives.
“I’m not going anywhere,” Teel said in a statement. “As owner and CEO, I intend to stay involved in the business, focused more on where we are going in the future and how we can realize our vision and purpose. I am committed to continuing to build on our strong culture and to support the passion our people have to infuse life with health and happiness by changing the way our customers eat, one plate at a time.”
Knopf joined Raley’s as chief operating officer in mid-2015 shortly after Teel, the grandson of the grocer’s founder, acquired majority ownership of the company, which owns and operates 121 stores under the Raley’s, Bel Air Markets, Nob Hill Foods and Food Source banners. It also has 13 Aisle 1 fuel stations.
Knopf has nearly three decades of retail experience. He came to Raley’s from department store operator Kohl’s Corp., where he held a leadership position. Knopf had earlier stints with the Victoria’s Secret unit of L Brands Inc. and with May Co., where he learned to operate stores, manage a profit and loss statement, and drive continuous improvement.
Raley’s said Knopf has brought a strong balance of strategy and execution to its leadership team. “He believes in delivering a personalized customer experience and engaging team members in the company’s purpose. Knopf models servant leadership.”