Billionaire Weston hands outsider the reins of Loblaw supermarket chain
Loblaw Cos., the Canadian grocery chain controlled by the billionaire Weston family, named the head of a Danish retailer as its new CEO.
Per Bank will join Loblaw in the first quarter of 2024, the Brampton, Ontario-based company said in a statement Tuesday. Since 2012, Bank has been the CEO of Salling Group AS, a closely held firm that owns supermarket brands and department stores, mostly in Denmark.
Galen Weston, the scion who controls Loblaw parent George Weston Ltd., will step aside as Loblaw’s president but remain chairman. The family has a fortune of about $16 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.
Food inflation has become an increasing source of concern among Canadians. Loblaw, under Weston’s leadership, has become a lightning rod for criticism. The company is Canada’s largest supermarket chain with C$56 billion ($41.9 billion) in revenue last year, operating under food and pharmacy banners including President’s Choice, Provigo and Shoppers Drug Mart.
“In Per we have found a world-class retail executive to help us build from that position of leadership and strength,” Weston said in a statement.
Loblaw said COO Robert Sawyer plans to retire at the end of the year.