Anthony Hucker is now the official president and CEO at Southeastern Grocers, the parent company of Winn-Dixie and several other grocery store chains.
Hucker, 51, has served as interim president and CEO since July when the company's former chief, Ian McLeod, resigned to take a job with an Asian grocery chain. Hucker previously served as the company's chief operating officer. He was officially instated as the current president and CEO Thursday, according to a press release.
"When Ian hired me, he wanted a No. 2, a right hand man," Hucker told the Tampa Bay Times during an interview last month. "This was also part of his succession plan."
Hucker has worked at Southeastern Grocers for the last 18 months under McLeod. As a member of Southeastern Grocers' senior leadership team, Hucker said he's confident he can continue to implement the changes and strategies that began under McLeod. Those strategies include remodeling stores and converting some into other Southeastern Grocer banners. Southeastern Grocers is based in Jacksonville and oversees the Winn-Dixie, Harveys, Bi-Lo and Fresco y Más brands.
Hucker has more than 30 years of experience in the grocery business. Prior to joining Southeastern Grocers, he was the COO and president of Schnucks, a supermarket chain in the Midwest, worked in Walmart's strategy and business development division and spent 10 years as part of the start up team for Aldi in the United Kingdom. Similar to McLeod, a native of Scotland, Hucker isn't originally from America. He's from Wales in the United Kingdom.
He also served on the executive board of Ahold USA, a Dutch international retailer which merged with Delhaize Group in 2016.
Hucker has a degree from Metropolitan University in Manchester, U.K., where he studied retail marketing. He also holds an international diploma in marketing from the Chartered Institute of Marketing in the U.K. While pursuing his diploma, he worked as a food industry analyst.
"I'm grateful to our leadership team for the smooth transition over the past six weeks and I'm excited for the opportunity to continue to drive the strategic direction of the company. I'm humbled and honored to lead our team of more than 50,000 associates who are our greatest assets, putting our customers first, always," Anthony said. "Over the past two years, we've made substantial progress in our transformation, and we're ready to push forward."
Contact Justine Griffin at [email protected] or (727) 893-8467. Follow @SunBizGriffin.