After 38 years of service, Publix’s VP of manufacturing, Jeff Stephens, has announced his decision to retire, effective May 1.
Stephens began his Publix career in 1980 as a rail dock associate. He was promoted to lab technician in the dairy plant in 1983, quality control manager in 1988, GM of the dairy plant in 2000 and director of fresh product manufacturing in 2005. In 2010, Stephens was promoted to director of manufacturing operations, and in 2013, he was promoted to his current position.
“Jeff’s philosophy is to leave things better than you found them,” said Publix CEO Todd Jones. “I’m thankful he has done just that. Whether through his dedication to his associates or the products they produce, Jeff has been a great example of what it means to be Publix.”
Stephens says he looks forward to spending more time with his wife and their family. He also plans to remain involved in mission work.
Publix is privately owned and operated by its more than 200,000 employees, with 2017 sales of $34.6 billion. It operates 1,213 stores in Florida, Georgia, Alabama, Tennessee, South Carolina, North Carolina and Virginia. The company has been named one of Fortune’s 100 Best Companies to Work For in America for 21 consecutive years.