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The Oregonian reports that New Seasons Market CEO Brian Rohter will retire from that job in January 2010, and will be succeeded by the company’s president, Lisa Sedlar.

Rohter will become the company’s chairman of the board.

New Seasons also announced that Endeavour Capital, a Portland, Oregon-based private capital firm, has invested in the retailer and will help it “figure out a way to have the ownership of the company more broadly-based,” with a focus on employee ownership.

On his blog, Rohter wrote, “I want to emphasize that the company is not being sold. For the past four or five years, there’s barely been a week that we haven’t received a phone call or letter from some private equity firm trying to buy us. We’ve never even returned a phone call because our commitment to being a mission driven, locally-owned company has never wavered.”
KC's View:
One of the best observations about New Seasons Market, it seems to me, is that if you didn’t know anything about the ownership structure, you easily might assume that it already has employee ownership. Because that’s how they act. That seems to be how they feel. And it pays real dividends in terms of the culture that can be seen there.