- Hy-Vee has abandoned the dual-CEO management structure it announced last year, according to a spokesperson for the Midwestern supermarket chain.
- Jeremy Gosch, whom the company said in August would serve as CEO of retail operations, is now Hy-Vee’s only chief executive. Meanwhile, Aaron Wiese — announced last July as the successor to former CEO Randy Edeker — now holds the title of president and reports to Gosch.
- Hy-Vee’s latest top-level executive changes deepen questions about the grocer’s leadership strategy that arose when it unexpectedly announced last year that Gosch would serve along with Wiese as CEO less than a month after saying that Wiese had alone been named its next chief executive.
Under Hy-Vee’s now-scuttled succession plan, Wiese and Gosch were both set to assume the role of chief executive on Oct. 1, with Gosch set to focus on the company’s core operations, including its traditional brick-and-mortar grocery stores, and Wiese responsible for Hy-Vee’s growing number of new ventures.
The spokesperson did not indicate if Wiese actually assumed the position of CEO, and the press release the company issued about his promotion to the position is no longer available on the company’s website. Hy-Vee has also removed the announcement it released about its decision to elevate Gosch to be CEO from its site.
In another shift, the spokesperson said that Wiese, who had served as vice chairman of Hy-Vee since December 2021, no longer holds that role. Meanwhile, Gosch, whom Hy-Vee earlier said would serve as vice chairman along with Wiese starting Oct. 1, is now the only person in that position. The change took effect at Hy-Vee’s annual stockholders meeting, which took place on Dec. 7, according to the spokesperson.
Wiese and Gosch are each veteran Hy-Vee employees, with both executives having joined the company in the 1990s. Both have taken on multiple positions of increasing responsibility during their time working for the retailer.
Edeker, who had previously served as chairman and CEO of Hy-Vee beginning in 2012, now holds the title of executive chairman of the board and executive director for the company.
Hy-Vee, which runs about 285 supermarkets in eight Midwestern states, has recently made other senior-level executive changes in addition to setting aside plans for Wiese and Gosch to each serve as CEO.
The changes, announced during the stockholders meeting, include the appointment of longtime Hy-Vee executive Donna Tweeten to be president alongside Wiese. In that role, Tweeten will be in charge of Hy-Vee’s private brands and digital projects as well as merchandising and marketing. She will also oversee Hy-Vee’s retail media business, Red Media. Tweeten’s appointment represents the first time a woman has been chosen to be president of Hy-Vee, the company said.
Tweeten joined Hy-Vee in 2006 as assistant vice president of communications and rapidly moved up at the retailer. She became senior vice president and chief marketing officer in 2014, was elected to the company’s board of directors in 2016 and was appointed chief of staff in 2020, according to Hy-Vee.
In his role as president, Wiese will oversee Hy-Vee’s healthcare operations and retail pharmacy locations as well as Hy-Vee Healthcare, a new subsidiary. He will also continue to direct supply chain and distribution operations for the retailer.
In a separate announcement last month, Hy-Vee said Kevin Sherlock has been promoted to chief operating officer and will oversee the company’s retail grocery operations. Sherlock, who joined Hy-Vee in 1986 as a part-time courtesy clerk at a store in Iowa City, Iowa, was named executive vice president and chief retail officer of Hy-Vee in 2020. He became executive vice president and chief merchandising officer last June.
Hy-Vee also said Georgia Van Gundy, who serves as the grocer’s executive vice president and chief customer officer, has added the role of chief of staff. In addition, she will serve as chief administrative officer, giving her responsibility for areas including human resources, government relations, communications, risk management and food safety, according to the company.