Gelson’s named a new chief executive officer and also announced leadership promotions.
The Southern California-based specialty grocer, which is known for its upscale offerings and premium service, has promoted John Bagan to president and CEO following the departure of Rob McDougall, who has retired from Gelson’s after 15 years with the company. The new position marks Bagan’s third promotion in two years, most recently moving from COO into the role of president in July 2022.
Bagan joined Gelson’s in 2016 as chief merchandising officer following merchandising and supply chain roles at Guitar Center, Albertson’s and Target. He began his career as a business analyst for Morgan Stanley
In his new role, Bagan will assume greater responsibility for the company’s overall vision, business and growth strategy, as well as managing relationships with the board and parent company Pan Pacific International Holdings (PPIH). The Japanese company acquired Gelson’s from private equity firm TPG Capital in February 2022.
Gelson’s outgoing CEO joined the company in 2007, rising to the CEO role in 2014. During his tenure, he grew the chain from 18 to 27 locations, including opening three locations in San Diego in 2016. His approach included customizing each Gelson’s to the needs of its community, while introducing new in-store social areas such as wine bars and branded products like Gelson’s wines.
Gelson’s also has promoted Rich Gillmore to VP of center store and Sean Saenz to VP fresh foods. It also announced the following key title changes to reflect additional responsibilities:
Clare Bogle is now chief financial and administrative officer;
Ron Johnson is now chief information and supply chain officer;
Tom Frattali is now senior VP of group synergies;
Paul Kneeland is now senior VP of merchandising and sales;
Tim Mahoney is now senior VP of operations; and
Yvonne Manganaro is now senior VP of customer and team experience.
Gelson’s operates 27 specialty food markets in Southern California.