Bierley's Next Gig

Pantry CFO exiting convenience store industry

Mark Bierley

NOVI, Mich. -- Mark R. Bierley, who stepped down last week as chief financial officer at The Pantry Inc. to take a position closer to his home in Michigan, has landed at Learning Care Group Inc., Novi, Mich., a for-profit early education and childcare provider.

Bierley has been the CFO and senior vice president of The Pantry since late September 2010.

He will leave the retailer effective May 25 and will join the Learning Care Group as CFO effective June 11, 2012.

Bierley has more than 20 years of financial and accounting leadership experience. Most recently, he served as CFO and senior vice president of The Pantry, Cary, N.C., a leading independently operated convenience store chain in the southeastern United States and one of the largest independently operated c-store chains in the country.

Previously, Bierley served in a variety of managerial roles at Borders Inc., including executive vice president and chief operating officer and CFO. Prior to working with Borders, he held positions in the financial departments for Dunham's Sporting Goods, Federal-Mogul Corp. and PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP.

The resignation of Bierley (see Related Content below for previous CSP Daily News coverage) was the latest in a series of high-ranking executive departures that has beset the company since the exit of longtime chairman and chief executive officer Pete Sodini.

Dennis G. Hatchell, The Pantry's CEO has only been at the helm of the company since early March. He succeeded interim chairman and CEO Ed Holman following the late August 2011 departure of Terry Marks (Holman remains as chairman).

Sodini, who announced his retirement almost exactly three years ago, in late April 2009, had led the company since February 1996. Marks, his successor, left the company for the Hooters themed restaurant chain.

Other departures included Dave Henninger, marketing vice president, who joined The Pantry in May 2010 shortly after longtime friend Marks, whom he followed to Hooters in March. And Brad Williams, senior vice president of operations, announced his departure from The Pantry in late May 2011. He joined the company in 1998. Williams has been senior vice president of store operations at Richmond, Va.-based Mid-Atlantic Convenience Stores (MACS) since March of this year.

The Pantry said that it will begin a search for a new CFO promptly. Berry L. Epley, vice president and corporate controller, will assume Bierley's responsibilities until the company names a successor.

As of Feb. 3, 2012, The Pantry operated 1,618 stores in 13 states under select banners, including Kangaroo Express, its primary operating banner.