In that post he will succeed current CEO Hank Meijer, who will serve as executive chairman of the Meijer board.
“We have witnessed Rick’s deep understanding and appreciation of our culture and his passion for the people who make Meijer a great company,” Meijer said in a statement announcing the move. “His accomplishments throughout a 27-year career – and his leadership as president for more than a year now – give us tremendous confidence in the future as he assumes a new title that better reflects his responsibilities.”
Keyes, who joined Meijer 27 years ago as a pharmacist, was named president of the supercenter retailer last year.
According to the company, the role of Meijer president has traditionally been held by a someone who is not a member of the Meijer family. The title of chief executive officer, though, was held first by Fred Meijer and then by Hank Meijer. The company said the decision to make an adjustment in titles reflects the desire to align the men’s roles more accurately with their current responsibilities.
Meijer has been privately owned and family operated since it was founded in 1934, and in keeping with the Meijer family’s ongoing significant involvement, executive chairman Meijer will work closely with CEO Keyes in developing and executing strategies consistent with the company’s values. The Meijer family will also continue to be represented by Doug Meijer and Mark Meijer, who serve on the company’s board of directors.
Overall, Meijer operates 230 supercenters and grocery stores, with pharmacies, in Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Kentucky and Wisconsin.