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CEO John Standley to Depart Rite Aid Amid Shakeup

Drugstore chain to eliminate 400 corporate positions following scuttled Albertsons deal
Photograph: Shutterstock

John Standley, who agreed to sell Rite Aid to Albertsons Cos. before the deal suddenly unraveled last summer, will step down as CEO of the embattled drugstore chain as part of a massive managerial reset and 400 corporate layoffs.

Other executive changes include the departures of Rite Aid Chief Financial Officer Darren Karst, Chief Operating Officer Kermit Crawford and EVP of Store Operations Derek Griffith.  

The retailer also said it would reduce managerial layers and consolidate roles across the organization, resulting in the elimination of approximately 400 full-time positions, or more than 20% of the corporate positions, at the company's Camp Hill, Pa., headquarters and across its field organization.

Bryan Everett, chief operating officer of Rite Aid Stores, has been promoted to COO of the parent company, Crawford. Matt Schroeder, chief accounting officer and treasurer, has been promoted to CFO and will succeed Karst after a brief transition. Brian Hoover, group VP and controller, has been promoted to chief accounting officer; and Jocelyn Konrad, EVP, pharmacy, has been promoted to EVP, pharmacy and retail operations. Rite Aid also will consolidate additional senior leadership roles resulting in the elimination of certain positions, the company said.

Standley, the former Pathmark CEO who has overseen Rite Aid since 2010, presided over tumultuous deals, including a sale to Walgreen Boots Alliance that was considerably trimmed after federal antitrust regulators intervened. The proposed merger of the rest of its 1,900 stores with Albertsons—which among other things was to have resulted in Standley being named CEO of the combined companies and gotten Albertsons onto the public markets—was announced a year ago but mutually called off on the eve of a shareholder vote when it was clear Rite Aid shareholders wouldn’t vote to support the $24 billion deal.

“Rite Aid’s board of directors is committed to more closely aligning the structure and leadership of the company with our present scale and today's announcement an important step in positioning Rite Aid for future success," Bruce Bodaken, chairman, said in a statement. “These are difficult decisions, and we recognize the implications they have for individuals across our organization. However, it is imperative we take action to reduce the cost of current operations and become a more efficient and profitable company."

“The board believes that now is the right time to undertake a leadership transition,” Bodaken continued. “We will be focused on recruiting a leader that will best position Rite Aid to create long-term value for shareholders. As we conduct the search process, John has agreed to stay until we appoint his successor. We thank John for his outstanding leadership in guiding the company over the past several years. His leadership and expertise has been critical to ensuring the company’s stability and success through an extremely challenging environment. In addition, we are confident that Bryan, Matt and our senior leadership team have the capabilities and experience necessary to effectively guide Rite Aid forward.”

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