“My initial focus will be to work with the Board and the management team to refine our strategic vision,” says Hatchell.
Hatchell previously served as vice chairman of Alex Lee Inc. headquartered in Hickory, N.C., which is a holding company for Lowe’s Food Stores, Merchants Distributors Inc. and Institution Food House.
He will succeed Edwin Holman who served as interim CEO since Terrance Marks resigned as CEO effective in October 2011. Holman will remain in his position as chairman of the Board of Directors of the company, working closely with Hatchell, who will join the Board of Directors following the company’s annual meeting in March.
“After an extensive search process, the Board is delighted that Dennis will be joining The Pantry as president and CEO, “ said Wilfred Finnegan, lead director for The Pantry. “Dennis is a proven leader who possesses a unique blend of merchandising and operating experience. We believe his successful track record in the food distribution and retail grocery business where he served in various principal positions for 33 years, make him ideally suited to lead the company, as it continues to grow and succeed in the highly competitive convenience store market sector. The Board is very appreciative of the leadership that Ed Holman has provided on an interim basis to keep the company focused on its strategic objectives.”
“I am excited about joining The Pantry and the opportunity to lead this business,” said Hatchell. “The Pantry is one of the largest retailers in the convenience store industry and has tremendous potential to grow and continue to be a dominant leader in its markets. My initial focus will be to work with the Board and the management team to refine our strategic vision, prioritize our investments to increase shareholder value and get to know store-level operations to fully understand the needs of our customers and employees.”
Hatchell, age 62, is a seasoned executive with over 39 years of experience in the grocery business. In addition to serving as vice chairman of Alex Lee Inc. since 2011; he served as president and chief operating officer of Alex Lee Inc. from 1995 to 2011; president of Lowes Food Stores Inc., a division of Alex Lee, from 1989 to 1995; and group vice president of merchandising and store operations from 1986 to 1989 for H. E. Butt Grocery Co. in San Antonio. Previously, Hatchell served as president of Merchants Distributors Inc., a division of Alex Lee Inc. from 1980 to 1986. He also served in several positions rising to vice president, general manager of Western Grocers (Super Valu) in Denver, Colo. from 1972 to 1980. Hatchell received a Bachelor degree from University of Colorado in 1971.
The Pantry operates 1,618 stores in 13 states under select banners, including Kangaroo Express, its primary operating banner.