Cub Foods' CEO is leaving after nearly four years at the helm to become president of the nation's largest retailer-owned food cooperative.
Mike Stigers, who has led Cub Foods since 2019, announced on March 20 that he would resign as the grocery store chain's chief executive to pursue "another professional opportunity," according to recently unveiled SEC filings. His last day at the job is May 31.
"Through many different leadership roles, Mike has had a tremendous impact on this company and so many of us," Sandy Douglas, CEO of Cub Foods' parent company United Natural Foods Inc., said in a statement released Saturday. "Mike has helped both retail banners navigate significant change and has consistently demonstrated his commitment to the communities they serve, which has fostered continued customer loyalty. He has been a great partner to me and a respected industry leader."
Stigers is to become the president of Wakefern, based in New Jersey. It's the nation's largest retailer-owned cooperative, with 50 member companies and 362 retail supermarkets.
"I am excited to join Wakefern at this important time in its history. The strength of the cooperative and its solid position as a regional grocery is well-known in the industry," Stigers said in a news release. "I am looking forward to joining the team and working alongside the cooperative membership to help shape its future."
Though his time running Cub Foods was brief, Stigers brought nearly five decades of industry experience that led the Twin Cities grocery chain to flourish.
He was named CEO in the spring of 2019, a year after UNFI bought Cub Foods' parent company, Supervalu, and announced it wanted to sell Cub and other parts of Supervalu's retail division.
But while managing Cub Foods, Stiger helped to change UNFI's mind by keeping shelves stocked, hiring 1,000 people, and by reopening and remodeling some of the chain's nearly 100 stores. The Minneapolis store on Broadway Avenue, badly damaged during protests over George Floyd's murder, was remodeled to include a community center for tutoring kids and giving residents a space to gather.
"I was so surprised," said Lisa Clemons, founder of the nonprofit A Mother's Love, who advocated for the space. "I've never ever heard of a business wanting to rebuild and want to build out a space for community."
Stiger's new role as Wakefern's president begins on June 1. It is unclear who will take Stiger's role in the interim.