Mariano's grocery store CEO Bob Mariano to retire in September

 
 
Updated 7/13/2016 5:44 AM
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  • Bob Mariano of Inverness and CEO of the growing Mariano's grocery store chain, was an adviser when Kroger bought the chain. He will retire Sept. 1.

    Bob Mariano of Inverness and CEO of the growing Mariano's grocery store chain, was an adviser when Kroger bought the chain. He will retire Sept. 1. DAILY HERALD FILE PHOTO 2013

Roundy's CEO Bob Mariano, the former Dominick's deli worker who went on to launch Mariano's grocery stores, will retire on Sept. 1.

Cincinnati-based The Kroger Co. acquired Roundy's and the Mariano's stores under its umbrella last November, and Mariano had said at that time he had no plans to retire. He had opened stores around the suburbs, including Schaumburg, Naperville and Wheaton.

Mariano, 66, of Inverness, does not plan to leave completely. The grocery industry veteran will stay on as a strategic adviser for the Roundy's side of the company for a couple of years.

"Bob has been a tremendous leader for Roundy's and the entire supermarket industry. The centerpiece of his career, of course, is the Mariano's chain of stores in his hometown of Chicago," Rodney McMullen, chairman and CEO of The Kroger Co. said in a statement. "We see a bright future ahead for our Pick 'N Save and Metro Market stores in Wisconsin and for Mariano's stores in Chicago. And we look forward to our continued partnership with Bob as a strategic consultant and adviser. The entire Kroger and Roundy's family extends our best wishes to Bob and his family in retirement."

Don Rosanova, president of Mariano's, and Michael Marx, president of Roundy's Supermarkets Wisconsin, will continue in their current roles by leading the two supermarket divisions, the company said.

Kroger bought Roundy's last November for about $800 million.

He started his career in the grocery industry in 1967, when he worked as a part-time deli clerk at Dominick's Finer Foods. He held various roles of increasing responsibility, including senior vice president, before being named president and CEO of Dominick's in 1995. He led the company through an initial public offering in 1996 before the company was purchased by Safeway in 1998.

Mariano took on leadership of Roundy's Supermarkets Inc. in 2002. Roundy's opened the first store under the Mariano's banner in 2010 in Arlington Heights. There are 37 Mariano's stores throughout Chicago and the suburbs.

"Everyone at Roundy's will miss Bob's leadership and his personal interactions with employees, vendors and customers," said Roundy's spokesman Jim Hyland. "Bob is an innovator and his legacy in the grocery industry will be celebrated for many years to come. More importantly, Bob is a great friend to all of us here at Roundy's and we are glad that he will remain in a consulting role for the next two years."

Spokesmen for Krogers did not immediately respond for further comment.

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