BJ’s Wholesale Club has promoted President Lee Delaney to CEO succeeding Christopher Baldwin in the role. Baldwin, already Chairman of BJ’s, has been named Executive Chairman as part of the transition.
In his role as Executive Chairman, Baldwin, who joined the company and the board in 2015, will serve as a strategic advisor to Delaney and will lead the company’s board of directors. The changes are effective Feb. 2, 2020. Baldwin also serves as Chairman of the National Retail Federation (NRF) Board of Directors.
Delaney appears to have been groomed to take over Baldwin’s responsibilities for some time now. He was promoted from EVP and Chief Commercial Officer to President of BJ’s in September, taking the President title from Baldwin.
Delaney joined BJ’s in May 2016 as EVP and Chief Growth Officer before being promoted to EVP and Chief Commercial Officer in February 2018. Prior to joining BJ’s, Delaney was a partner in the Boston office of Bain & Company and a leader in the firm’s Consumer Products practice.
“Lee’s strategic vision and leadership have been instrumental in the transformation of BJ’s Wholesale Club,” Baldwin said in a statement. “We’re on track to deliver our fourth consecutive year of record earnings with strong cash flow and membership at historic levels. Lee’s knowledge of all areas of our business and strong record of driving profitable growth make him the ideal leader for our company. I look forward to working closely with Lee to ensure a smooth transition as we continue our transformation.”
BJ’s has been working to become a more streamlined and digitally focused retailer since it went public last year. Among other initiatives, BJ’s rolled out a new app and web site. The wholesale club also is moving toward a leaner assortment, with cuts in grocery and more prepared foods, private label products and general merchandise items.
In addition to assuming the CEO role, Delaney was appointed to the Board of Directors. Additionally, Thomas Kingsbury, the former CEO of Burlington Stores, has been appointed to the Board, replacing Cameron Breitner, who is stepping down.