Couche-Tard Realigns Leadership

Promotions to coincide with reorganization of U.S. markets

Steve Holtz, Editor in Chief, CSP Daily News

LAVAL, Quebec -- As the May 1 realignment of Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc.'s operating divisions nears, the Canadian company announced internally this past week a reorganization of its divisional leadership staff. "In addition to driving greater efficiencies and speeding decision-making, this realignment sharpens our strategic focus within the Canadian and United States markets," Real Plourde, executive vice president and COO, said in a letter to employees dated April 23.

Attempts to contact Plourde for further comment were unsuccessful at press time; however, according to the letter, [image-nocss] Brian Hannasch, currently senior vice president of Western North America for Couche-Tard, will become responsible for most of the U.S. divisions, all but the West Coast. His new title will be senior vice president of U.S. operations.

Hannasch is a holdover from Johnson Oil's Bigfoot c-store chain, the first operation in the United States purchased by Couche-Tard back in June 2001.

The U.S. West Coast, three regions in Canada and international franchising will be led by Plourde.

Meanwhile, Bob Campau, currently regional vice president of the Southeast U.S., will fill the new role on vice president of administration for the United States. In this role, Campau will lead overhead benchmarking initiatives for the company, according to the letter. Campau has been with the Circle K chain since 1979.

And Matt McCure, currently director of marketing for the Southeast U.S. region, was promoted to regional vice president of the Southeast Division.

All the promotions will become effective May 1, the same date Couche-Tard's realignment from nine regional divisions to 11 goes into effect.

As previously reported by CSP Daily News, Couche-Tard announced plans in January to reorganize its U.S. business units.

"With the acquisitions that occurred over the past few years, and in order for each business unit to position themselves for growth opportunities and to maintain the integrity of our business model, which calls for each of the divisions to remain close to their stores, their customers and provide opportunities for our people, I am pleased to announce a realignment of geographies that will create two new business units," Plourde said at the time.

The reorganization will split the six divisions currently in the United States into eight U.S. divisions.

Florida will be split from the Florida/Gulf Division, taking a small portion of the Southeast Division with it. The new Gulf Division will be based in Tallahassee, Fla., and will be comprised of the states of Tennessee, Mississippi, Louisiana, Arkansas and the western Panhandle of Florida. Jason Broussard, currently marketing director in the Florida/Gulf Division, will become the vice president of operation for the Gulf Region. He will report to Plourde.

Also, a Southwest Division will be carved out of the West Coast, Arizona and Gulf divisions. The new Southwest Division will be based in Dallas and will be comprised of the states of Texas, Colorado, Oklahoma and New Mexico, according to the letter. Lou Valdes will head up the new Southwest Division. He will report to Hannasch.

Following the reorganization, the affected divisions will be home to:

West Coast—201 stores Southwest—225 stores Southeast—298 stores Great Lakes—308 stores Gulf—316 stores Midwest—339 stores Florida—430 stores Arizona—575 stores Western Canada—290 stores Eastern Canada—565 stores Central Canada—596 stores

Laval, Quebec-based Couche-Tard operates a network of more than 4,000 c-stores, including sites in 23 U.S. states.

Steve Holtz, CSP/Winsight By Steve Holtz, Editor in Chief, CSP Daily News
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