Los Angeles-based Smart & Final Holdings Corp. announced Dec. 9 that David G. “Dave” Hirz, president and COO, will be named CEO effective Jan. 1. Hirz also will become a member of the company’s board of directors.
Smart & Final’s current chairman and CEO, George Golleher, will remain executive chairman of the board and continue to work closely with Hirz and the senior management team on strategic issues.
Golleher joined Smart & Final in May 2007 in conjunction with the company’s acquisition by Apollo Management L.P.
Hirz, who joined Smart & Final as president in April 2010, has extensive supermarket experience. Between 1999 and 2010, he served in Kroger divisions, as president of Food 4 Less supermarkets for eight years and Ralphs Grocery Co. for three years. Hirz previously served as group VP of operations of Food 4 Less, which he joined in 1991. Before that, he held leadership positions with The Boys Markets from 1985 to 1991, including district manager and director of store operations and administration.
Hirz is a graduate of the Food Industry Management Program at Cornell University and the Food Industry Executive Program at the University of Southern California.
Hirz serves as a member of the boards of directors for the Western Association of Food Chains (WAFC) and the Boy Scouts of America, Orange County Council and as a member of the Dean’s Advisory Board for the Mihaylo College of Business and Economics at California State University, Fullerton. He also is the 2011 president of the City of Hope Southern California Food Industries Circle.
“I have known and worked with Dave for almost 35 years, and he is the ideal executive to lead our dynamic company,” Golleher said. “Since coming to Smart & Final in 2010, Dave has worked extremely hard to understand our unique business and has led significant new business initiatives. Dave has done a great job in helping to build our company into what it is today, and I believe he will effectively lead Smart & Final’s continued evolution as a premiere food retailer.”
Hirz added, “I am proud and excited to have this opportunity to lead Smart & Final and to continue the vision that George has developed for our company. I look forward to working with the entire Smart & Final team to achieve our corporate objectives, and I anticipate that 2012 will be our best year ever.”
Originally founded in 1871 in downtown Los Angeles, Smart & Final Stores LLC operates approximately 250 retail stores under the banners Smart & Final, Smart & Final Extra!, Cash & Carry Smart Foodservice, and SmartCo Foods.