His sudden departure, announced by Empire’s board last month, came soon after Empire reported a $2.13 billion net loss for its 2016 financial year. The loss was mainly attributed to Sobeys’ difficulty in integrating its acquired Safeway operations in western Canada.
François Vimard, Empire’s chief financial and administrative officer, will serve as interim president and CEO of the company. Vimard will also replace Poulin on Empire’s board.
“On behalf of the board, I would like to thank Marc for his efforts and leadership as CEO over the past four years and, prior to that, for the important role he played in developing our Quebec business,” Empire chairman Rob Dexter said in a statement. “The board of directors is unanimous in its support of François Vimard’s leadership as we undertake this succession process.”
Dexter said the board remains confident in the company’s overall strategy.