Al Plamann, CEO of Unified Grocers, will retire from the Commerce, Calif.-based company, effective May 1. Plamann made his announcement at the company’s annual shareholders meeting at the Sheraton Cerritos Hotel on Wednesday.
“Through Al Plamann’s leadership, Unified Grocers has more than doubled in size and has evolved into one of the premier companies in today’s grocery industry,” said Richard Goodspeed, chairman of the board for Unified Grocers. “We appreciate Al’s commitment to Unified’s growth and success, and we wish him well in his retirement.”
Plamann has served as CEO of the company since September 1999 when Los Angeles-based Certified Grocers of California Ltd. merged with United Grocers Inc. of Portland, Ore. Prior to the merger, Plamann served as president and CEO of Certified Grocers of California for six years and also spent four years as SVP of finance and CFO. Before joining Certified in 1989, he had a distinguished 13-year career with Atlantic-Richfield Co. (ARCO) in Los Angeles.
“With Bob Ling’s nearly two years of experience as president of the company, an energetic management team in place, a loyal and dedicated group of associates and a strong base of independent retailers, I feel that this is an ideal time for me to step back and let this dynamic group take the company to new levels of prosperity,” Plamann said. “I am confident that Unified Grocers is well-positioned for success in the years to come.”
During Plamann’s tenure as CEO, Unified has grown from a company with $1.8 billion in annual sales to nearly $4 billion. Additionally, the company has expanded its customer base to an area that stretches from Mexico to Alaska, as well as to key international points around the globe.
“Al Plamann has been a driving force at Unified for decades, helping our company to achieve unprecedented levels of success,” said Bob Ling, president of Unified Grocers. “He has a well-earned reputation as a creative thinker and strategist and his legacy for these achievements and other contributions will endure in our industry for many years to come.”
Plamann currently serves as the vice chairman of the Twelfth District Economic Advisory Council of the Federal Reserve, as well as the board of the Food Marketing Institute and the National Cooperative Grocers Association. In February 2004, he was inducted into the California Grocers Association Hall of Achievement. He is a board member of the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce and the Town Hall of Los Angeles, a Board of Visitors member of the George L. Graziadio School of Business & Management-Pepperdine University and a member of the Southern California Chapter of the National Association of Corporate Directors and Weingart Center Association, a nonprofit organization that provides assistance to the homeless in Los Angeles.
Unified Grocers is a retailer-owned wholesale grocery distributor that supplies independent retailers throughout the western United States.