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Unmacht steps down as Bartell Drugs CEO

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SEATTLE — Bartell Drugs is searching for a new chief executive officer following the resignation of Brian Unmacht.

Unmacht, the first person outside the Bartell family to hold the president and CEO title, resigned to pursue other personal and professional opportunities, a company spokesman said. The senior executive team led by chief financial officer Rob Jensen is handling day-to-day operations.

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Brian Unmacht

The Bartell family continues to own the chain, with chairman George Bartell and vice chair Jean Bartell Barber remaining on the board of directors. The Bartells do not intend to take over management of the company, the spokesman said.

Unmacht was named CEO in April 2015, taking the reins from George Bartell as the head of the now 126-year-old, family-owned drug chain. Bartell, who had led the company for 25 years, remained chairman, and Bartell Barber, his sister, continued to serve as vice chair and treasurer.

Unmacht joined Bartells as president in January 2015. He previously was executive vice president and chief operating officer of outdoor gear and apparel retailer REI (Recreational Equipment Inc.) and had served on the Bartells board from 2011.

Unmacht said late last year that despite industry disruptions, “Bartells has continued its tradition of innovation,” citing the chain’s sales via Amazon Prime Now.

New and remodeled stores are letting Bartells upgrade facilities “for even better shopping experiences, as well as showcasing a move toward offering new and healthy fresh food selections and a renaissance of ‘old time’ features such as ice cream fountains and growler fill spots,” he added.


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