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Bi-Lo taps veteran Australian retailer as CEO


New York -- Bi-Lo Holdings, parent company of Bi-Lo, Harveys and Winn-Dixie grocery stores, has appointed veteran Australian retail executive Ian McLeod as president and CEO, effective March 2. He succeeds Randall Onstead, who will remain in place through March 2.

McLeod is known for leading a successful turnaround effort at Coles, one of Australia’s largest food retailers. He is a former chief executive of British retailer Halford Group and has 20 years of experience at Asda, where he was director of stores. He is also a one-time board member of Wal-Mart Germany/

McLeod previously served as group commercial director for Wesfarmers Group, one of Australia’s largest public companies. Wesfarmers acquired the Australian retail group Coles in late 2007 and appointed McLeod as managing director to lead the challenging turnaround of the company, which ranks as one of Australia’s largest food retailers.

Prior to Coles, McLeod was CEO of Halfords Group, a British retail chain specializing in car parts, cycling products and outdoor leisure goods. Previously, McLeod spent 20 years with ASDA supermarkets, a British supermarket group acquired by Wal-Mart in 1999, where he was a member of the U.K. management board and also spent 12 months as a member of the executive board of Walmart Germany.

“Ian is a proven leader with more than 30 years of expertise and a strong track record of driving profitable growth," the Bi-Lo Holdings board said in a joint statement. "In his time running over 2,200 Coles food, liquor and convenience stores, which employs 100,000 associates across Australia and includes over 760 full-service supermarkets, he led a major turnaround in that business, improving the quality and value of products as well as the service and store standards offered to customers. Ian significantly increased sales from ... $23.2 billion to $35.2 billion, doubling profits during six years and outperforming in the market for 20 consecutive quarters.”

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