Trader Joe’s CEO Dan Bane, who has helmed the specialty grocer for 22 years, will retire as of July 2, the retailer announced Monday.
COO Bryan Palbaum, who has been with Trader Joe’s for more than two decades, will take over as chairman and chief executive officer. President of Stores Jon Basalone will be promoted to vice CEO and company president.
“We are thankful for Dan’s leadership over the past 22 years,” Palbaum said in a statement. “Jon and I look forward to working with all crew members to continue to grow Trader Joe’s. We remain focused on providing customers with exciting products at great values while being true to the seven values that will continue to guide Trader Joe’s.”
Those values, according to published reports, include integrity, being a product-driven company, providing “wow” customer service, no bureaucracy, “the store is the brand,” being a national chain of neighborhood stores, and “kaizen”—a Japanese word for continuous self-improvement.
Monrovia, California-based Trader Joe’s is notoriously private, declining most media interviews.
Bane started with the company more than 25 years ago, and helped it grow to become a national chain of 543 grocer stores in 42 states and the District of Columbia.
“I take great pride that together we have made Trader Joe’s the best grocery store in America,” Bane said in a statement to employees. “Thanks to all!”
Trader Joe’s was founded in Pasadena, California in 1967 by Joe Coulombe, who died in February 2020 at 89. He created a concept known for affordable gourmet treats and private-label items that differentiated the chain.
“Joe was the perfect person at the right time for Trader Joe’s,” Bane told NPR at the time of the founder’s death. “He was a brilliant thinker with a mesmerizing personality that simply galvanized all with whom he worked.”
Last month, workers at a Trader Joe’s in Oakland, California voted to join the grocer’s independent union, becoming the fourth store to do so since last summer. A union vote at the grocer’s Essex Crossing store in New York City ended in a tie and did not move forward.
Trader Joe’s opened on new store on May 5 in Cypress, California, and has announced a new location in Sarasota, Florida, slated to debut sometime this year.