CHICAGO — Several convenience-store companies gained new leadership in 2019. Among the many executive and other personnel changes at all levels of the industry organizational charts, here are five of the biggest moves of the year ...
1. New CEO for Casey’s General Stores
In June, the board of Casey’s General Stores Inc. appointed Darren Rebelez, former president of the IHOP restaurant chain, as the c-store chain’s new president and CEO. He succeeded Terry Handley, who retired from the company and board after a 38-year career.
Rebelez joined Ankeny, Iowa-based Casey’s with more than 25 years of business leadership experience focused on operations, marketing and merchandising for large corporations in the c-store, fuel and restaurant industries. He had been president of IHOP restaurants since 2015. He resigned from that position June 4.
Prior to joining IHOP, Rebelez spent nearly eight years with 7-Eleven Inc., where he was executive vice president and chief operating officer. Before 7-Eleven, he held numerous management roles within ExxonMobil and Thornton Oil.
His return to convenience brings expectations of him translating his foodservice experience to Casey’s, which is the fifth-largest U.S. pizza chain. Rebelez led IHOP through an aggressive marketing period, implementing a viral campaign in 2018 in which the chain appeared to change its name to “IHOb” to promote its burgers.
2. Speedway spinoff shake-up
In June, Tony Kenney, president of Marathon Petroleum Corp. subsidiary Speedway LLC, announced he would retire at the end of 2019 after 43 years with the company. Findlay, Ohio-based Marathon Petroleum named Timothy Griffith, senior vice president and chief financial officer, to succeed Kenney at Enon, Ohio-based Speedway.
- Kenney was CSP’s 2015 Retail Leader of the Year.
Those changes came as Marathon Petroleum was deciding to spin off its 4,000-unit Speedway retail convenience-store network into an independent, publicly traded company, which it expects to be completed by fourth-quarter 2020. Part of an ongoing strategic review, that decision came also through a push by activist investors for Marathon Petroleum to separate into three independent companies: refining, midstream and retail. With the spinoff, Gary Heminger, chairman and CEO of Marathon Petroleum, also announced his plan to retire in 2020; and Gregory Goff, executive vice chairman of Marathon Petroleum and member of the board of midstream company MPLX GP LLC, also elected to retire Dec. 31.
3. Changes at RaceTrac
After joining the convenience-store chain as a real estate analyst in 1997, Milam held the roles of vice president of real estate, senior vice president of store development and store support for the RaceWay division and president before becoming chief operating officer of RaceTrac in 2013. He also served on the NACS board, NACS Research Council, NACS Executive Committee and on the NACS/Coca-Cola Retailing Research Council.
Earlier in the year, the company promoted Max McBrayer, chief financial officer and chief supply officer, to CEO; and Natalie Morhous, vice president of Energy Dispatch, RaceTrac's fuel transportation company, to president.
4. Adams exits MAPCO
Frederic Chaveyriat, executive vice president of MAPCO's board, has been interim CEO since Adams was let go. No new CEO has been announced.
Adams joined Brentwood, Tenn.-based MAPCO with 30 years of experience in convenience-store operations, marketing, merchandising and strategy. He began his career as a night-shift associate, working his way up to president of retail operations for CST Brands. He left San Antonio-based CST Brands when Alimentation Couche-Tardacquired the chain in 2017.
5. TravelCenters of America's turnaround artist
Previously, Pertchik was an executive for companies owned or controlled by private equity groups, including Starwood Capital Group, TPG, Carl Icahn, Richard LeFrak and Perry Capital. In his most recent role, Pertchik was CEO of Intown Suites, an extended-stay hotel chain. Pertchik was also CEO of ST Residential, a joint venture with the FDIC, which managed a $5 billion portfolio of loans and real estate from Corus Bank.
TravelCenters of America hired Pertchik for his turnaround experience, according to Adam Portnoy, chairman of the TravelCenters of America board and president and CEO of holding company The RMR Group, Newton, Mass. Pertchik “has led multiple businesses in different industries through various stages of transformation and growth over the past 20 years. The TA board is confident that his proven track record and engaged management style will advance TA and lead to improved cash flows and enhanced performance.”