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Publix CEO Ed Crenshaw to retire in April

Publix CEO Ed Crenshaw, 64, says he will retire on April 30 after 42 years with the Lakeland grocery chain.
Publix CEO Ed Crenshaw, 64, says he will retire on April 30 after 42 years with the Lakeland grocery chain.
Published Jan. 14, 2016

Publix Supermarkets CEO Ed Crenshaw announced Wednesday that he plans to retire in April after 42 years with the Lakeland grocery chain.

Crenshaw, 64, who began his career with Publix in 1974 as a clerk in a store in Lake Wales, said he will step down on April 30. President Todd Jones will become president and CEO.

Despite his retirement, Crenshaw plans to remain a member of the Publix board of directors and will take on the role of chairman of the board on May 3. Current chairman Charlie Jenkins Jr. will become chairman emeritus.

"The board of directors is grateful for Ed's 42 years of dedicated service to Publix, our associates and the communities we serve," Jenkins said in a statement. "He's been a strong leader keenly focused on our continued growth in current and new markets and committed to the development and promotion of our associates. He's provided invaluable insights to our industry, serving on numerous boards. The board looks forward to working with Ed to continue the success of Publix."

Crenshaw worked in a variety of retail positions during his tenure with Publix. He was the director of retail operations for the Lakeland division. In 1990, he was promoted to vice president of the Lakeland division and was elected to the board of directors. The next year he moved to Atlanta to launch the Atlanta division.

Crenshaw was promoted to executive vice president of retail in 1994 and to president two years later. He became CEO of the company in 2008.

"I've been privileged to lead what could quite possibly be the best company in the world," Crenshaw said in a statement. "Company ownership provides our associates amazing opportunities and with that comes the responsibility to continue to grow our company and invest in each other. The time has come to turn over the reins, and I am pleased to have a leader with the experience of Todd who is ready to take the next step in his career. I am confident in his ability to lead our company into the future and to continue to make Publix a great place for both customers and associates."

Jones, the incoming CEO, began his career at Publix in 1980 as a clerk in a New Smyrna Beach store. He was named president in 2008.

Contact Justine Griffin at jgriffin@tampabay.com. Follow @SunBizGriffin.