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Former Meijer President Will Take Lead At PetSmart In June

J.K. Symancyk
J.K. Symancyk

J.K. Symancyk soon will take on a new role as CEO of PetSmart Inc. He will assume leadership of the company the week of June 11 and will join PetSmart’s board of directors.

Symancyk, a consumer and retail veteran with more than 25 years of industry experience, joins PetSmart from Academy Sports + Outdoors, a more than $4 billion omnichannel specialty retailer where he has served as president and CEO since 2015. Prior to that role, he was president of Meijer. Symancyk was the youngest president in the privately-owned grocery company’s history.

PetSmart logoHe brings to PetSmart operational experience across all areas of retail, including merchandising, consumer brand marketing, proprietary brands, services and e-commerce.

“The board and I are confident that J.K. has the right qualities to lead PetSmart,” said Raymond Svider, managing partner at BC Partners and executive chairman of PetSmart. “J.K. has a 25-year track record as a proven leader and has driven profitable growth in large, multi-channel consumer businesses. J.K. brings significant experience in managing complex retail operations, growing brands, improving operating performance and customer experience and delivering results. We look forward to working with and supporting J.K. as he leads PetSmart forward on its transformational journey to be the most convenient, best-in-class pet retailer.”

At Academy Sports + Outdoors, Symancyk focused on creating and implementing a new strategic growth plan and leading internal teams to improve organizational performance. As president of Meijer, he was responsible for leading all aspects of the $16 billion retailer. Symancyk also worked in various management and merchandising positions with Walmart, including with Sam’s Club.

“PetSmart is an iconic brand with a strong footprint in brick and mortar and digital. I am looking forward to working with the talented management team to grow the business and to continue to fulfill the mission to be the trusted partner to pets and pet parents,” Symancyk said. “This is an exciting and dynamic time for retail, and we will work together to create additional opportunities for growth and deliver the best and most convenient experience for our customers and their pets across all of PetSmart’s channels.”

About the author


A 10-year employee of The Shelby Report who writes for and about food. In previous lives, she worked at a police department in Texas and an amusement park in Arkansas. She also was a newspaper publisher for more than a decade. Not sure which of those qualified her for this job.

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