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Navarro names Ortiz as new chief executive
July 12th, 2011
MIAMI – Navarro Discount Pharmacy has promoted chief financial officer Juan Ortiz to chief executive officer, replacing Steve Kacyznski.
The Hispanic-owned drug store chain said Tuesday that Kacyznski will stay on as a consultant through the end of this year to assist Ortiz and his team in executing the company's strategic plan, which has included a significant expansion of its store base, distribution operations and e-commerce presence. Kacyznski has served as CEO since January 2010.
"Juan Ortiz and his team have worked diligently on Navarro's successful financial turnaround building a singular focus and working hand-in-hand with management and employees to execute an effective, long-term plan," Jorge Rico, a co-founding partner of private equity firm MBF Healthcare Partners, Navarro's parent, said in a statement. "In addition, Juan's leadership over the last three years laid the needed groundwork for the first phase of Navarro's three-year store expansion plan, now being implemented, as well as record sales and earnings in the company's 50-year history."
Ortiz joined Navarro as CFO in August 2008 and was recruited because of his ability to manage complex businesses and operations, according to the company, which operates 29 drug stores in the Miami area. The retailer noted that Ortiz and his team stabilized sales and customer traffic, identified new revenue streams, boosted profitability and cut operating expenses by $10 million in a 24-month period. Earlier this year, he was named CFO of the Year in the turnaround category by South Florida Business Journal.
Before coming to Navarro, Ortiz was CEO of Atlantic Dental Inc., a $40 million dental health provider. He also has served as CFO of Bell Microproducts Latin America, a $350 million computer component distribution and services business.
Ortiz is known for being an excellent communicator, surrounding himself with good people and focusing on customer service, according to Navarro. "As a retail pharmacy, nothing is more important than serving the customer," Ortiz said in a statement.
Navarro reported that its annual gross revenue was $320 million in fiscal year 2011, up 4.2% from $307 million in 2010 and from $305 million in 2009.
Last week, the regional pharmacy chain opened a new store in North Miami, its first new store in five years, and it plans other new stores this year in Homestead and Pembroke Pines, Fla.
Navarro stated that Kaczynski's expertise in retail merchandising and marketing over the last 18 months "has been instrumental in setting a strategic direction for the company and expanding its footprint in South Florida and nationally."
Kaczynski, who before joining Navarro was CEO of bigg's, a retail division of Supervalu Inc., is credited with leading Navarro to year-over-year gains in sales and earnings as well as developing a new branding and revitalization program, which included expansion of its store base and e-commerce capabilities as well as the introduction of the Vida Mia brand, Navarro's own bilingual, private label for Hispanic products. He also has held executive positions at Wild Oats Markets, Giant Food Stores and Cub Foods.