- Frank Curci, the former Tops Markets chairman and CEO, will take over as CEO of Northeast Grocery, the recently formed parent company of Tops and Price Chopper, according to a news release.
- Scott Grimmett, who was named Northeast Grocery CEO when the two grocery chains merged last year, will retire in February to spend more time with his family, the announcement noted.
- Curci brings four decades of experience to the role, including serving as the head of Tops on two separate occasions, with the first being a highly dramatic stint in the early 2000s that included an accounting scandal.
After seeing Tops and Price Chopper through their merger and helping plot a strategic course for the combined companies, Grimmett is stepping away from a top role that he only briefly held.
Grimmett, who had a 48-year career in grocery, was the president and CEO of Price Chopper/Market 32 when the merger was announced last year. He joined that chain as executive vice president and chief operating officer in 2012, and before that spent nearly four decades at Safeway, where he rose to become president of the company’s Denver division.
During his nearly 10 years at Price Chopper, he established the chain’s strategy to refresh stores and rebrand them under the Market 32 name — a process that has unfolded slowly. In 2019, five years after the announcement of the $300 million initiative, less than a quarter of the chain’s footprint rebranded. The initial expected timeframe was eight to 10 years.
With Curci’s appointment to the top position, Northeast Grocery has an executive who’s intimately familiar with Tops and the Northeast grocery landscape. He had two stints as CEO with the grocer. The first, which lasted from 2000 to 2003, ended after Curci took responsibility for an accounting scandal. The second began in 2007, when Morgan Stanley Private Equity acquired Tops from Ahold and restored Curci, who helped with the acquisition, to the chief executive position.
Curci helped Tops grow its footprint significantly, overseeing the acquisition of 79 Penn Traffic stores in 2010 and 21 Grand Union locations in 2012. In 2013, Curci and six other Tops executives purchased the chain from Morgan Stanley.
“I’m excited about the future of this company and implementing the plans Scott and I have put in place,” Curci said in a statement. “With our now-combined footprint of nearly 300 stores, we are better positioned to leverage increased value for customers; advance shared opportunities for innovation; and fortify the depth of our expanded workforce, community, and trade partnerships, making us stronger and more competitive.”