Publix names Kevin Murphy as next CEO

Murphy will replace current CEO Todd Jones, who is slated to become the grocer’s executive chairman, on Jan. 1
Publix names Kevin Murphy as next CEO

Publix has promoted President Kevin Murphy to be the company’s next CEO, effective Jan. 1, the Florida-based supermarket chain announced Friday. According to Grocery Dive magazine, Murphy is set to take the reins as chief executive of Publix amid a busy period for the company, which faces growing competition on its home turf even as it puts down roots in areas where it hasn’t had a presence before.

Murphy joined Publix in 1984 as a front service clerk at a store in Margate, Florida, eventually becoming a store manager in 1995 and vice president of the company’s Miami division in 2014. He became senior vice president of retail operations in 2016 and assumed the president’s position from Jones in 2019.

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Under Jones’ leadership, the company has moved up the East Coast, deepening its roots in the Mid-Atlantic region as well as into states like Virginia and Kentucky, where its first store will open next year. Publix announced earlier this month that it plans to open a store in 2025 in Boone, Kentucky – just across the Ohio River from Kroger’s hometown of Cincinnati. Publix has also been taking steps to expand its technology campus in Lakeland, Florida, where the company is based.

Publix is facing expanding competition in its home state, as rivals including Aldi, Sprouts, and The Fresh Market increasingly look to steal away business. Aldi, which announced plans in August to acquire Winn-Dixie and Harveys Supermarket from Southeastern Grocers and opened a distribution center intended to serve up to 100 grocery stores in the Gulf Coast region earlier this year, poses a particularly large threat.

Publix operates 1,358 supermarkets in Florida, Georgia, Alabama, South Carolina, Tennessee, North Carolina, and Virginia. The company reported third-quarter sales of $14 billion, a 7.2% year-over-year increase. Same-store sales rose 4.3% during the period.

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