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Former Canadian Tire exec Michael Medline named new CEO of Empire

Medline takes over at Empire from Francois Vimard, who has served as interim CEO since last summer

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Former Canadian Tire chief executive Michael Medline has been named the new CEO of Empire Co. Ltd. effective immediately.

Medline worked at Canadian Tire for more than 15 years in a variety of senior leadership roles before he was replaced as CEO last year by his predecessor, Stephen Wetmore.

“Michael Medline is an outstanding Canadian retailer who brings a passion for the customer experience and a proven ability to drive strong operating and financial performance within national organizations and across multiple brands,” said James Dickson, chair of Empire, in a statement. “After an extensive international search, the Board is unanimous in its determination that Michael is the right choice to create long-term value for all our stakeholders.”

Medline takes over at Empire from Francois Vimard, who has served as interim CEO since last summer when Marc Poulin abruptly left the company.

Vimard, who had been Empire’s chief financial and administrative officer before being named interim CEO, will become executive vice-president at Empire.

The shuffle comes at a time when Empire is trying to turn itself around after seeing its most recent quarterly profit chopped by more than half.

Headquartered in Stellarton, N.S., Empire owns a number of businesses including grocery chain Sobeys and employs about 125,000.

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