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Hy-Vee announced yesterday that Randy Edeker, who has been chairman-CEO of the company since 2012, will step down as CEO on October 1, to be succeeded in the CEO job by Aaron Wiese, currently company vice chairman and president of Hy-Vee Supply Chain and Subsidiaries.

Edeker will remain as the company's chairman.

Jeremy Gosch, Hy-Vee's president and chief operating officer, will remain in those roles.

“Both Aaron and Jeremy have been trusted leaders of our executive team for many years, and I am thankful for the leadership they continue to provide our great company,” Edeker said in a prepared statement. “With this announcement, I can continue to focus on Hy-Vee’s strategy and evolution in today’s changing environment, while Jeremy can focus on overseeing our stores and Aaron can focus on the day-to-day operations of the overall company.”

All three men are Hy-Vee lifers - Wiese started with the company while still a college student in 1993, and Gosch started as a part-time clerk two years later.  Edeker has worked for Hy-Vee in various capacities for more than four decades.

KC's View:

Edeker has overseen an expansion of Hy-Vee's traditional market areas, but there are folks in the industry - and inside the company - who feel that he also has been responsible for a more autocratic approach to management at the company.  Not sure if we're likely to see any of this change - the need to grow is at the heart of almost every retailer (though different companies calibrate that in different ways), and there certainly is an argument that greater centralization is necessary as a company becomes larger.