Publix announced Wednesday the upcoming departure of Vice President of Customer Experience Bob Bechtel, who will retire March 31.
The Florida-based grocery chain said it will promote Publix Director of Omnichannel David Finger to Bechtel’s role.
Bechtel is a 45-year veteran of Publix. He began working at the grocery chain in 1978 as a front service clerk in Sarasota, Florida, and served in several roles before his promotion to store manager in 1991. In 1995, he became Lakeland Division district manager, then regional director in 2008 and Miami Division vice president in 2016.
Bechtel has been in his current vice president position since 2019.
Publix noted that Bechtel received the 2005 President’s Award for promoting diversity and inclusion in the workplace.
“Bob has spent his career focusing on customer service,” Publix CEO Kevin Murphy said in a statement. “Through his leadership and efforts, he has helped our associates provide a premier shopping environment that has exceeded our customers’ expectations and helped create raving fans at Publix.”
Publix said that Bechtel and his wife, Kathy, are “looking forward to traveling, camping and spending time with their grandchildren.”
Finger has been with Publix since 1993, when he started as a front service clerk in Mt. Dora, Florida. He worked in the customer service department and then moved to the corporate office in 2000. He became the company’s director of retail scheduling and forecasting in 2015 and has served in his current role since 2017.
Murphy said that Finger has found ways to “improve our services and streamline our processes.”
The upcoming retirement of Bechtel and promotion of Finger marks the latest executive changes for Publix. On Jan. 1, Kevin Murphy became the grocer’s next CEO and Norman Badger took over as senior vice president of retail operations.