People

Rite Aid Hires a CFO; Recalls Another as COO

Drug store chain, also reporting a large loss, brings CFO Vitrano and president Standley from the Pathmark chain.
Stephen TaubSeptember 25, 2008

Rite Aid named a new finance chief and brought a former CFO back as its president and COO in a shake-up of its executive suite. It also reported a $222-million quarterly loss, three times the year-ago deficit, and wider than analysts had forecast.

As president and chief operating officer, Rite Aid named John T. Standley, who from 1999 to 2005 served at Rite Aid as senior executive vice president, CFO, and chief accounting officer. Rite Aid’s new CFO, and also CAO, is Frank G. Vitrano.

Vitrano and Standley most recently were with Pathmark, a regional supermarket chain. From 2005 through 2007 Standley was CEO at Pathmark, where he is credited with engineering and leading the successful turnaround and sale of the company to Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Co. in 2007. Vitrano served as president, CFO, and treasurer of Pathmark from 2002 through 2007.

As Rite Aid CFO and CAO, Vitrano replaces Kevin Twomey and Pierre Legault, respectively. Both Twomey and Legault were said to be leaving to pursue other opportunities.

In his term as Rite Aid CFO and CAO, Standley oversaw the implementation of new financial controls and was integrally involved in the development of the company’s current information systems, real estate strategy and compliance programs, the company said. In recent months he also has served in an advisory capacity with the company. He assumes the job of president from Mary Sammons, who remains chairman and CEO. As COO, Standley replaces Robert J. Easley, who is also leaving to pursue other interests.

“This is the right time for these changes as Rite Aid focuses on delivering strong value for shareholders, suppliers, customers and associates in a challenging business environment,” said Sammons.

In reporting the $222-million second-quarter loss, Rite Aid said that same-store sales for the quarter increased 0.6 percent over the prior year 13-week period, dragged down, in part, by flat pharmacy sales. However, if stores acquired from Brooks Eckerd in early 2007 were excluded, same stores sales for the 13-week second quarter increased 3.1 percent over the prior-year period.

“With the Brooks Eckerd integration completed in just a few days, we will be in a better position to more fully realize the strategic benefits of the acquisition,” Sammons said.