Jim Athey is slated to succeed Marc Bodner next month as chief executive officer of L&R Distributors, a wholesaler of health and beauty care and general merchandise.
Plans call for Athey, currently chief customer officer, to take the CEO reins on April 3, at which time Bodner will shift to the role of executive chairman, Brooklyn, New York-based L&R said Thursday.
A national wholesaler, L&R distributes more than 40,000 HBC and GM products to over 18,000 retail locations in the supermarket, drug, independent, mass and convenience retail channels, among others. Categories supplied include health and personal care, cosmetics and accessories, hair care, baby care, household, pet care, toys, party goods, hosiery, stationery, travel accessories, appliances and electronics, and As Seen On TV items. The company also operates logistics, merchandising and fulfillment services divisions plus an e-commerce platform that includes direct-to-consumer, blind-drop ship fulfillment.
“L&R has a great business model with a talented team that uniquely positions us in the market,” Athey said in a statement. “Our vision is to provide the ultimate shopping experience for our customers’ customers by reducing complexity and becoming an indispensable partner to both our retailer and vendor partners alike. I am confident the best is yet to come for L&R and that together we can achieve our vision and create a wonderful future for our company and employees.”
Athey has served as L&R’s chief customer officer since January 2021. In that role, he developed and led the company’s growth strategy, increasing sales and profit, and ushered in new capabilities, L&R said. That came through the formation of strategic partnerships, an expanded customer base, and more category offerings and services, as well as team enhancements, according to the distributor.
Before coming to L&R, Athey spent over two years at housewares manufacturer Tervis as chief commercial officer and 14 years at Kimberly-Clark, most recently as vice president and general manager for the grocery channel. His background also includes roles as vice president of the regional drug channel and Target team at Revlon and as vice president of the Target team and Walgreens team leader at Eastman Kodak.
“I am grateful to have served as both the president and CEO of L&R for the past 16 years,” Bodner commented. “Jim’s combination of industry experience, drive for results and commitment to collective success make him an ideal leader for this next chapter of L&R. The L&R Executive Leadership team we have built over the last several years has established a solid platform, with exceptionally strong customer and supplier partnerships. I look forward to continue to support Jim and the executive leadership team as executive chair, building on the strong L&R foundation.”
Also on Thursday, L&R announced three other promotions effective April 3.
With Athey’s elevation to CEO, Tom Tomescko, executive vice president of category development, will take over the chief customer officer role, overseeing all of L&R’s sales, sales execution and retail solutions functions. In tandem with Tomescko’s promotion, L&R will expand the role of Steve Light, executive vice president of e-commerce and digital solutions, to include oversight of the category development and replenishment buying functions. Additionally, David Faust has been promoted from vice president to senior vice president of operations and will continue to oversee all of L&R’s warehouse operations, as well as the sales and operations planning department.