The Pantry Names Dickson Chairman

Supermarket exec replaces Holman; Schmidt succeeds Venezia on interim basis

The Pantry Kangaroo Express Convenience Stores Thomas W. "Tad" Dickson Harris Teeter

Thomas W. "Tad" Dickson

CARY, N.C. -- Southeastern convenience store chain The Pantry Inc. has announced that its board has elected Thomas W. "Tad" Dickson, former chairman and CEO of Harris Teeter Supermarkets Inc., to serve as chairman effective April 2, 2014.

He replaces Edwin J. Holman, who has been chairman since Sept. 2009.

The move follows a protracted, contentious battle between the existing leadership and a group of "dissident" shareholders over the past performance, management experience and future direction of the chain, with each sides putting up its own slate of nominees.

The Pantry's leadership had nominated Dickson to counter the charge by CPS that the board did not possess enough retail experience.

Concerned Pantry Shareholders (CPS), as the group called itself, succeeded in placing three new directors on the public company's nine-person board.

Following the vote at the annual shareholder meeting in March, in which Holman was voted out, both sides have vowed to move forward together for the good of the company and its investors.

Dickson brings to the role of chairman nearly two decades of operational and management experience in the supermarket industry, including more than 15 years as a public company director, and possesses broad supermarket and real-estate knowledge, particularly in The Pantry's core geographies.

As reported in a 21st Century Smoke/CSP Daily News Flash, Dickson most recently served as chairman and CEO of Harris Teeter, a leading regional supermarket chain in the southeastern and mid-Atlantic United States, from February 1997 up to the company's sale to The Kroger Co., Cincinnati, in Jan. 2014, and as chairman of its board from March 2006 to Jan. 2014.

Prior to serving as chairman and CEO, Dickson served in various executive posts at Harris Teeter (formerly Ruddick Corp.) and its former subsidiary, the textile company American & Efird Inc., and as a director of Harris Teeter from Feb. 1997 to Jan. 2014.

Part of CSP's 2014 Convenience Top 101 retailers