Leadership at Big Y Shifts to the Third Generation

Charlie D’Amour says his father, Gerry, and uncle, Paul — the co-founders of Big Y Foods — had an outlook on work and business management that was typical of members of their generation.

“They came away with the notion that you died with your boots on — you just kept working until the end,” he said, adding that he is of a much different mindset, one of meticulously grooming the next generation of leadership, stepping back when the time is right and letting them take the reins, and … well, not working right to the very end.

And that’s exactly what’s been happening at Big Y over the past few years and especially the past several months, steps that ultimately led to the recent announcement that Charlie D’Amour would be assuming the role of executive chairman of the board and that his nephew, Michael D’Amour, would be taking the reins of president and CEO. Also, Richard Bossie, a 40-year-employee who is now senior vice president of Retail Operations and Customer Service, will be stepping into Michael D’Amour’s roles as executive vice president and COO. The moves are effective Jan. 21, and they are all significant in nature.

Indeed, Michael’s ascension to president and CEO represents a passing of the torch from the second generation of leadership to the third as the company approaches its 90th birthday (in 2026) and contemplates where it wants to be when it reaches 100. Meanwhile, Bossie becomes the first non-D’Amour family member to become COO, another significant step and poignant example of how the company is certainly bigger than the family and takes pride in putting people in jobs that can lead to careers, including those that involve the C-suite.

For Michael, the executive changes represent the continuation of a pattern set by his uncle Charlie and another uncle, Donald, before him — from humble beginnings working at one of the supermarkets (in Michael’s case, slicing cold meat in the deli) to a succession of leadership positions, and eventually to the corner office.

Read complete article at BusinessWest.com