Retail veteran steps down as Pharmaca chief executive officer
BOISE, Idaho — Mark Panzer is stepping down as president and chief executive officer of Pharmaca Integrative Pharmacy to become senior vice president of pharmacy, health and wellness at AB Acquisition LLC, the parent company of food and drug chains Albertsons and Safeway.
AB Acquisition said Friday that Panzer will oversee the company’s 1,760 pharmacies in 34 states nationwide. He replaces Darren Singer, who has left the company to pursue other opportunities.
Panzer’s new role takes effect immediately, and plans call for him to relocate to the AB Acquisition’s Boise, Idaho, office in the coming weeks, the company said.
The move marks the second time in over a year that Panzer left the CEO post at Pharmaca to lead the pharmacy operation at a larger retailer.
In February 2014, Sears Holdings Corp. announced that Panzer had joined the company as senior vice president and president of pharmacy, overseeing the Kmart pharmacy business. However, Panzer rejoined Pharmaca as president and CEO in June 2014, according to a Pharmaca spokeswoman, who noted that he had remained on Pharmaca’s board of directors.
With his new role, Panzer returns to Albertsons. His retail career began more than 40 years ago at Osco Drug stores. He later moved into regional sales and marketing and regional operations roles for the drug chain, eventually serving as district manager and director and, subsequently, as vice president of sales and marketing for American Drug Stores. Those posts led to his appointment as senior vice president of sales and marketing for Albertsons after its 1999 merger with American Stores.
In 2001, Panzer left the company to join Rite Aid Corp. as executive vice president of store operations, and in 2005 he was named senior executive vice president and chief marketing officer at the company. He joined Pharmaca in 2008 as chief operating officer and was appointed as the chain’s CEO in 2009.
“Mark understands and appreciates the entrepreneurial spirit that embodies how we go to market across our divisions, and we’re thrilled that he’s chosen to come back to our team,” Shane Sampson, chief marketing and merchandising officer for Albertsons, said in a statement. “Early on in his career, Mark was part of the team that helped define what great customer service meant for pharmacy operations in a grocery company. Moreover, he has proven himself to be an extraordinary leader throughout his career and is well-respected throughout the industry. His extensive retail, sales and marketing experience will be invaluable to our pharmacy team as we move forward with our goal to be the favorite local supermarket for our customers and employees.”
AB Acquisition, privately owned by a consortium led by Cerberus Capital Management, operates more than 2,200 supermarkets in 34 states and the District of Columbia under 18 banners, including Albertsons, Safeway, Vons, Jewel-Osco, Shaw’s, Acme, Tom Thumb, Randalls, United, Pavilions, Star Market, Market Street, Amigos and Carrs.