Loblaw Companies Ltd. has selected a Danish supermarket veteran as its new chief executive following a global talent search.
The $56 billion Canadian grocery and pharmacy giant, whose banners include Shoppers Drug Mart, has appointed Per Bank as president and CEO. He will succeed Galen Weston, chair of the Loblaw board and chair and CEO of Loblaw parent company George Weston Ltd., who has also been serving as president of Loblaw since 2021 when Sarah Davis retired.
Bank will formally join the company, which is Canada’s largest retailer, by early 2024. Weston will remain chair of the Loblaw board and chair and chief executive of the parent company.
Bank is a 30-year career retailer with deep expertise in retail operations and supply chain. He is the outgoing CEO of Salling Group A/S, the largest retailer in Denmark, with more than 1,700 multi-banner supermarkets across three countries, supported by strong e-commerce, loyalty and private-brand programs. Salling Group and having one of Denmark’s largest private-sector workforces.
“Loblaw is admired worldwide for its sound values, long history of innovation, and the strong execution that has made the company what it is today,” said Bank. “I am truly excited to join the team and build on the ongoing success of my future colleagues.”
Bank will be responsible for Loblaw’s day-to-day operations, and he will report to Loblaw’s board. His appointment comes as Loblaw COO Robert Sawyer plans to retire at the end of the year.
“Over the past two years, we have strengthened the foundations of the company,” said Weston. “Our management team is exceptional, and our 220,000 colleagues continue to deliver for our customers every day. In Per we have found a world-class retail executive to help us build from that position of leadership and strength, and to continue on that journey.”
The news about the new CEO comes a few days after Loblaw said it plans to invest more than $2 billion (Canadian) into the Canadian economy in 2023 to help the company grow and improve its store network.
Loblaw’s network of 2,500 stores operate under a variety of banners, including Loblaws, Shoppers Drug Mart, No Frills, Real Canadian Superstore, T&T, Joe Fresh, PC Express, President’s Choice, No Name and PC Financial.