LAKELAND, Fla. — Ed Crenshaw has set April 30 as the date of his retirement from Publix Super Markets Inc.
Todd Jones, Publix’s president, will succeed Crenshaw as chief executive officer and will retain the presidency, the company announced last month.
Crenshaw, 65, is the company’s fourth CEO and the grandson of founder George Jenkins. He joined the privately held supermarket chain in 1974 as a front-service clerk. He was elected to the board in 1990. The following year, he moved to Atlanta to start the Atlanta Division as division vice president. He was promoted to executive vice president of retail in 1994 and to president in 1996. He was named CEO in 2008.
Crenshaw will remain a member of the board and is slated to become chairman in May, when the current chair, Charlie Jenkins Jr., becomes chairman emeritus.
“I’ve been privileged to lead what could quite possibly be the best company in the world,” commented Crenshaw. “Company ownership provides our associates amazing opportunities, and with that comes the responsibility to continue to grow our company and invest in each other. The time has come to turn over the reins, and I am pleased to have a leader with the experience of Todd who is ready to take the next step in his career. I am confident in his ability to lead our company into the future and to continue to make Publix a great place for both customers and associates.”
Publix, born during the Great Depression, has flourished as Florida’s population has exploded. The company consistently earns high marks within the industry for its customer service, quality products and investment in its network of stores, which now number 1,113, mostly in Florida but also in Georgia, Alabama, Tennessee, South Carolina and North Carolina. Publix has eight primary distribution centers and six manufacturing sites in Florida and Georgia.
Jones, 53, began his Publix career in 1980, also as a front-service clerk. He became a store manager in 1988. He was promoted to district manager in 1997, regional director in 1999 and vice president of the Jacksonville Division in 2003. In 2005, Jones was promoted to senior vice president of product business development. He was named president in 2008.
With Jones’ promotion, chief financial officer David Phillips will assume additional responsibilities and take the title of executive vice president and CFO, Publix noted. Phillips, 56, started with Publix in 1980 and has been CFO since 1999.
Kevin Murphy, vice president of the Miami Division, will be promoted to the newly created position of senior vice president of retail operations, reporting to Jones. Bob Bechtel will succeed Murphy at the Miami Division, the company said.
Publix also announced the pending retirement of Lakeland Division vice president Tom McLaughlin on April 30 after 47 years with the company.