Hy-Vee chairman and chief executive officer Ric Jurgens says he will retire in June.

Hy-Vee, Ric Jurgens, chairman, chief executive officer, CEO, Randy Edeker, chief operating officer, food and pharmacy stores, drug stores,

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Hy-Vee’s Jurgens set to step down in June

January 2nd, 2012

WEST DES MOINES, Iowa – Hy-Vee chairman and chief executive officer Ric Jurgens says he will retire in June.

At Hy-Vee’s annual meeting last month, the 62-year-old Jurgens said he feels that the chain, which operates more than 200 food and pharmacy stores and about 25 stand-alone drug stores, has reached the point where he can step down.

“We have a skilled management group in place to help propel Hy-Vee to even greater heights, so I will leave this summer with a great deal of confidence in the future of the company,” he said.

Jurgens has spent his entire 42-year career with Hy-Vee, starting as a part-time employee in Ames, Iowa, while attending Iowa State University.

After graduating from college he took a full-time position with the retailer and swiftly moved up through the ranks, serving as a store director and regional manager. In 1986 he was named president of Perishable Distributors of Iowa, a Hy-Vee subsidiary. Nine years later he returned to the parent company as senior vice president and chief administrative officer, and in 2001 he succeeded Ron Pearson to become only the third president in Hy-Vee’s history.

In 2003 Jurgens was elected chief executive officer, and in 2006 he succeeded Pearson as Hy-Vee’s chairman.

During Jurgens’ tenure as the company’s top executive Hy-Vee has grown to 235 stores in eight states and has increased sales to a record $7.3 billion last year.

Jurgens says that in May he will ask Hy-Vee’s board to elect president and chief operating officer Randy Edeker to succeed him as chairman and CEO. The 49-year-old Edeker says Jurgens’ leadership has made Hy-Vee a stronger, more focused and more innovative retailer.

“Ric helped us refine our mission and our vision and never let us lose sight of the fact that everything we do as a company is done in service to the customer,” he says. “Even in the midst of the economic downturn he encouraged us to be proactive and find new ways to improve the customer experience in our stores. His wise counsel and the confidence he places in all of us have made him the right leader at the right time for Hy-Vee.”