Pantry convenience store chain names new CEO

Posted February 15, 2012

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— Veteran business executive Dennis Hatchell will be the new chief executive officer of The Pantry (Nasdaq: PTRY), the Cary-based convenience store chain said Wednesday.

Hatchell takes over as CEO as of March 5. He will replace Edwin Holman, who has served as interim CEO. Holman is also chair of the Pantry board of directors.

Hatchell most recently served as vice chairman of Hickory-based Alex Lee. Lee is a holding company for Lowe's Food Stores, Merchants Distributors and Institution Food House.

Terrence Marks quit as Pantry’s CEO last October.

“Dennis is a proven leader who possesses a unique blend of merchandising and operating experience,” said Pantry board member Wilfred A. Finnegan in a statement. “We believe his successful track record in the food distribution and retail grocery business where he served in various principal positions for thirty three years, make him ideally suited to lead the company, as it continues to grow and succeed in the highly competitive convenience store market sector.”

Hatchell, 62, has nearly four decades of experience in the grocery business.

“The Pantry is one of the largest retailers in the convenience store industry and has tremendous potential to grow and continue to be a dominant leader in its markets,” Hatchell said. “My initial focus will be to work with the Board and the management team to refine our strategic vision, prioritize our investments to increase shareholder value and get to know store-level operations to fully understand the needs of our customers and employees."

Hatchell served as president and chief operating officer of Alex Lee from 1995-2011. Before that, he was president of Lowe's Foods from 1989-1995. He is a graduate of the University of Colorado.

The Pantry operates 1,618 stores across 13 states. Most are known as Kangaroo Express.


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  • Silver bullet1 Feb 15, 2012

    I wonder, is Don Stallings (Owner of Eagle Transport) still on the board of Directors? Pantry/Kangaroo usually has some of the higher fuel prices. Don Stallings at one time had say in the fuel terminal in Selma. Know wonder prices keep going up. Even when Peter Saputo was there, it was high.

  • westernwake1 Feb 15, 2012

    The Pantry has struggled a bit, let's hope that things turn around with the new leadership. They are one of my favorite chains of C-stores.