Lakeland-based grocer Publix Super Markets announced new leadership on Monday.
Current CEO Todd Jones will transition to become the executive chairperson of Publix’s board of directors as its current chairperson, Ed Crenshaw, will move on to chairperson emeritus, according to the announcement.
The current president, Kevin Murphy, will take over as CEO. Senior Vice President John Goff will be the company’s new president.
They all start their new positions on Jan. 1.
The rising leaders will take over at an interesting time for Florida’s largest grocery store chain.
Publix made $42.4 billion in sales in the first nine months of this year. That’s about 8% higher than the same period the year prior, according to the grocer’s filings. Meanwhile, net earnings have more than doubled this year.
While sales are up, Publix has struggled with expanding its organic GreenWise Market locations. The grocer announced earlier this year that it would transition its organic brand locations toward traditional Publix stores in favor of experimenting with a new layout of stores first tested in Tampa that would include GreenWise Market features.
The company is also facing a federal lawsuit from former assistant managers alleging Publix has a widespread problem of pressuring workers to work off the clock and without pay.
Experience of the new leaders
Jones, one of the highest-paid CEOs in the Tampa Bay area, began his career at Publix as a store clerk in 1980 in New Smyrna Beach. He became president of the company in 2008 and has been the CEO since 2016.
The new CEO and president also began their careers as Publix store clerks. Murphy started at the company in 1984 out of Broward County and Goff in 1991 out of Jacksonville.
Both Murphy and Goff followed a similar career track, moving up to store manager, district manager, regional manager, vice president of the Miami division and senior vice president of retail operations. Murphy has been president of the company since 2019. And next year, Goff will assume his position.
“We are delighted to have leaders with the experience of Kevin and John who are ready to take the next steps in their careers,” Jones said in a statement. “I am confident in their ability to lead our company into the future and to continue to make Publix a great place to shop for our customers and a great place to work for our associates.”