- Publix has promoted President Kevin Murphy to be the company’s next CEO, effective Jan. 1, the Florida-based supermarket chain announced Friday.
- Murphy will replace current CEO Todd Jones, who is slated to become Publix’s executive chairman. Senior Vice President John Goff is moving up to replace Murphy as president, and Chairman of the Board Ed Crenshaw will assume the role of chairman emeritus.
- The leadership changes come as Publix moves forward with an aggressive expansion effort that includes bringing stores to new markets.
Murphy is set to take the reins as chief executive of Publix amid a busy period for the company, which faces growing competition on its home turf even as it puts down roots in areas where it hasn’t had a presence before.
Under Jones' leadership, the company has moved up the East Coast, deepening its roots in the Mid-Atlantic region as well as into states like Virginia and Kentucky, where its first store will open next year. Publix announced earlier this month that it plans to open a store in 2025 in Boone, Kentucky — just across the Ohio River from Kroger’s hometown of Cincinnati.
Publix has also been taking steps to expand its technology campus in Lakeland, Florida, where the company is based.
Publix is facing expanding competition in its home state, as rivals including Aldi, Sprouts and The Fresh Market increasingly look to steal away business. Aldi, which announced plans in August to acquire Winn-Dixie and Harveys Supermarket from Southeastern Grocers and opened a distribution center intended to serve up to 100 grocery stores in the Gulf Coast region earlier this year, poses a particularly large threat.
Murphy joined Publix in 1984 as a front service clerk at a store in Margate, Florida, eventually becoming a store manager in 1995 and vice president of the company’s Miami division in 2014. He became senior vice president of retail operations in 2016 and assumed the president’s position from Jones in 2019.
Goff has worked for Publix since 1991, when he became a front service clerk in Jacksonville, Florida. He was named vice president of Publix’s Miami division in 2019 and senior vice president of retail operations in 2022.
“We are delighted to have leaders with the experience of Kevin and John who are ready to take the next steps in their careers,” Jones said in a statement. “I am confident in their ability to lead our company into the future and to continue to make Publix a great place to shop for our customers and a great place to work for our associates.”
Jones has been with Publix since 1980, when he was hired as a front service clerk in New Smyrna Beach, Florida. He moved through a variety of positions en route to becoming president and CEO in 2016.
“Todd has been an outstanding leader,” Crenshaw said in a statement. “He has been committed to continuing Publix’s success and passionate about the development and promotion of our associates. We’re pleased he will continue to provide leadership to our company as Executive Chairman.”
Publix operates 1,358 supermarkets in Florida, Georgia, Alabama, South Carolina, Tennessee, North Carolina and Virginia. The company reported third-quarter sales of $14 billion, a 7.2% year-over-year increase. Same-stores sales rose 4.3% during the period.
Catherine Douglas Moran and Jeff Wells contributed reporting.