STELLARTON, Nova Scotia — Lawtons Drugs president and chief executive officer Rob Sobey is retiring.
Parent company Sobeys Inc. announced that Sobey, who has served as president and CEO of the Atlantic Canada drug chain for the past eight years, is slated to retire effective January 1. He will continue to serve on the board of Empire Company Ltd., the parent of Sobeys Inc.
“As part of Sobeys Inc.’s succession planning process, Rob informed me a number of months ago of his personal decision to retire as president and CEO of Lawtons and devote more time to his outside business and philanthropic interests,” Marc Poulin, president and CEO of Sobeys Inc., said in a statement.
Vivek Sood has been named general manager of Lawtons Drugs and will lead the drug chain. He reports to Poulin.
Since joining Sobeys Inc. in 2000, Sood has served in a variety of senior merchandising and finance roles with Sobeys and Empire Company. For the past four years he has held leadership positions in Lawtons Drugs, most recently as senior vice president.
“Vivek is well positioned to assume the leadership of Lawtons, having spent the last four years overseeing critical areas of the business,” Poulin stated. “I look forward to working with him to continue to build upon Lawtons’ success and drive the business forward.”
Lawtons Drugs has 78 stores in Nova Scotia, Newfoundland, New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island.
Overall, Sobeys owns or franchises more than 1,500 drug stores and supermarkets in 10 provinces. In addition to Lawtons Drugs, the retailer’s banners include Sobeys, Safeway, IGA, Foodland, FreshCo and Thrifty Foods.
“I would like to take this opportunity to offer my thanks to Rob for his leadership in contributing to the company’s success throughout his 32-year career with Sobeys, of which 25 years was as a full-time employee,” Poulin commented. “Rob’s leadership and efforts over the past eight years have transformed Lawtons into a leading pharmacy retailer and home health care provider in Atlantic Canada and have contributed to Sobeys’ overall success during that period of time. I look forward to continuing to work with him as he remains an active member of the board of directors of Empire Company.”