Big Y Names First New CEO in 38 Years

Donald D'Amour named chairman emeritus as cousin Charles D'Amour is named CEO
Photograph: Shutterstock

Big Y Foods Inc. has announced a leadership succession whereby longtime Chairman and CEO Donald D’Amour will transition out of day-to-day responsibilities and current President Charles D’Amour will also take on the CEO role.

Effective Jan. 1, the move is among several executive appointments that the Springfield, Mass.-based retailer said reflects “expanding business activities and the dynamic shifts that are occurring within the supermarket, convenience and retail liquor industries.” The moves also positions a third generation of D’Amour family members in key leadership roles at the company—which was co-founded by brothers Paul and Gerald D’Amour in 1936—including newly named COO Michael D’Amour, son of Donald. 

michael d'amour
Michael D'Amour photograph courtesy of Big Y Foods Inc.

“Our company continues to grow and evolve and we are always developing opportunities to better serve our customers in the communities where we operate. Ushering in strategic change requires a dedicated group of professionals and leaders such as this team, which is at the vanguard of the most innovative thinking in our industry,“ Donald D’Amour said in a statement. “I’m proud of this seasoned, well-respected team that is well poised to lead our company now and into the future.”

donald d'amour
Donald D'Amour photograph courtesy of Big Y Foods Inc.

Donald D’Amour, son of co-founder Paul D’Amour, has been the company’s CEO since 1980 and succeeded his father as chairman in 1997. Donald will continue to serve the company as an adviser to the board in his new role as chairman emeritus.

Charles D’Amour, the son of Gerald D’Amour, will continue as president, a position he’s held since 2006. To allow for a smooth transition, he has also been appointed CEO, whereby he will be responsible for helping to drive the overall strategic direction of Big Y. In addition to providing overall leadership and oversight, key departments of finance, legal, real estate and development, employee services and information resources technology will report directly to him.

charlie d'amour
Charles D'Amour photograph courtesy of Big Y Foods Inc.

Michael D’Amour, grandson of co-founder Paul D’Amour and son of Donald D’Amour, was appointed to the position of EVP in 2014 and has added the role of COO, a position formerly held by Charles, to his roster of responsibilities. As COO, Michael will be responsible for all operating aspects of the company, including sales, operations, distribution and supply chain. He began his full-time career at Big Y in 1996.

Big Y also announced the following appointments:

  • Guy McFarlane, Big Y’s VP of fresh foods since 2011, has been promoted to SVP of sales and marketing; he will oversee sales and procurement, pricing, marketing and data analytics. He will report to Michael D’Amour. McFarlane began his career at Big Y more than 23 years ago and has been in the supermarket industry for 41 years.
  • Richard Bossie, Big Y’s VP of operations since 2016, has been promoted to the new position of SVP of operations and customer experience. In this expanded role, Bossie will oversee all operational aspects of the company that affect the customer experience, including labor planning, inventory control and ordering, checkout and customer service, and retail asset protection, along with all operational aspects of Big Y Express Gas and Convenience Division and Table and Vine, Big Y’s flagship beer, spirits and fine wine store. He also will report to Michael D’Amour. Bossie has more than 38 years of retail experience, including 30 years at Big Y.
  • Nicole D’Amour Schneider, granddaughter of co-founder Paul D’Amour and daughter of Donald D’Amour, has been appointed to the new position of VP of supermarket operations with specific focus on the daily operations of the supermarket division. D’Amour Schneider previously was Big Y’s senior director of store operations. Along with five district directors reporting to her, she will continue to drive operational excellence throughout the chain. She reports to Bossie.

nicole d'amour schneider
Nicole D'Amour Schneider photograph courtesy of Big Y Foods Inc.

Big Y Foods Inc. is one of the largest independently owned supermarket chains in New England, with 82 locations in Massachusetts and Connecticut, including 71 supermarkets, 40 pharmacies, Fresh Acres Market, Table & Vine Fine Wines and Liquors, and nine Big Y Express gas and convenience locations with more than 11,000 employees.


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