- Hy-Vee announced Wednesday that Aaron Wiese, who is currently vice chairman of the company and president of its supply chain and subsidiaries, will take over as CEO on Oct. 1.
- Wiese will take over the top role from Randy Edeker, who will remain as Hy-Vee’s chairman of the board. Wiese, along with president and chief operating officer Jeremy Gosch, will continue to report to Edeker. Both were named to their most recent roles in December.
- “With this announcement, I can continue to focus on Hy-Vee’s strategy and evolution in today’s changing environment while Jeremy can focus on overseeing our stores and Aaron can focus on the day-to-day operations of the overall company,” Edeker said in a statement.
Hy-Vee’s naming of Wiese to the top post is the latest in a quick succession of promotions for the nearly 30-year company veteran. And it comes as Hy-Vee faces a few key challenges, including a multi-state expansion and bruising price inflation.
Wiese started working at Hy-Vee in 1993 and served in various operations roles before being named director of real estate strategic planning in 2012. He moved through leadership roles with the company’s health and wellness and Amber Specialty Pharmacy divisions, and in December 2020 became executive vice president.
Just a few months later, Wiese was named president of digital growth and co-chief operating officer, and last December was promoted to his current role as vice chairman and president of supply chain and subsidiaries.
Wednesday’s announcement indicated that Wiese along with Gosch, who has followed a similar leadership trajectory over the past few years, will collectively run Hy-Vee’s operations while Edeker, who has been Hy-Vee’s CEO since 2009, will remain in charge and serve in a more strategic capacity.
These are challenging times for Hy-Vee. In April, the company announced it would shift hundreds of corporate employees to store-level jobs and also pause several large-scale projects. In a surprisingly long and candid letter posted in various local publications, the company detailed how inflation, supply chain pressures and rising gas prices were impacting its business.
The Iowa-based grocer, which operates close to 300 stores in eight Midwestern states, competes heavily with discount retailers like Walmart, Aldi and dollar stores in numerous communities. Not traditionally known as a low-price retailer, Hy-Vee has stepped up its value messaging and promotions recently, including a “Hy-Vee Deals” digital circular.
In December, Hy-Vee said it planned to expand to several states outside of the Midwest, confirming an earlier report from The Des Moines Register. The company has said it plans to open a location in Louisville, Kentucky, in 2023, and in March announced a location in Spring Hill, Tennessee, but has not provided any updates since then.