Keyes took the CEO reins effective January 1. He succeeded Hank Meijer, who has become executive chairman of Meijer, which operates 230 supercenters and grocery stores, with pharmacies, in Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Kentucky and Wisconsin.
“We have witnessed Rick’s deep understanding and appreciation of our culture and his passion for the people who make Meijer a great company,” said Meijer. “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.”
The president’s job at the retailer has historically been filled by a person outside the Meijer family, with the CEO role having been held by Hank Meijer and his father, Fred. The new arrangement is based on the company’s desire to align the roles more accurately with 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 involvement, Hank Meijer will work closely with Keyes in developing and executing strategies. Hank’s brothers Doug Meijer and Mark Meijer will also stay active through their roles as directors.
Keyes had been the company’s executive vice president of supply chain and manufacturing before being named president in 2015. He oversaw the retailer’s expansion into manufacturing with the acquisition of one dairy and construction of another, and pioneered initiatives ranging from the launch of a near-zero emission truck fleet to significant investments in lean distribution technologies.