Giant Eagle parts ways with Laura Shapira Karet, the 11-year CEO of the family business
O’Hara-based Giant Eagle Inc. announced Tuesday that it has appointed a new interim CEO to replace its leader of 11 years, Laura Shapira Karet.
The supermarket chain said in a statement late Tuesday afternoon that its board had voted to remove Karet pursuant to her contract with the company. A spokesperson did not disclose the reason for the separation.
The board named Giant Eagle President of Supermarkets Bill Artman to serve as interim CEO. He has worked for the retailer for nearly 40 years, rising up the ranks after beginning work there as a customer service clerk, the company said in its statement.
His promotion marks a striking development for the 92-year-old company. Karet’s family is one of five that founded Giant Eagle during the Great Depression and still own it today. She succeeded her father, David Shapira, as CEO.
Giant Eagle now operates more than 470 stores in western Pennsylvania, Ohio, northern West Virginia, Maryland and Indiana, according to the company. It sells food, fuel, and pharmaceuticals, and the company reports it earned more than $11 billion in revenue during the fiscal year ending June 30, 2022.
Karet joined the company in 2000 as vice president of marketing and later held other executive roles before being picked as CEO in 2012.
In 2006, she led the roll-out of Giant Eagle’s Market District locations, a more upscale version of its stores. She was named executive chair of the grocer’s board of directors in January 2022.
Karet also is chair of the Allegheny Conference on Community Development, the civic leadership organization that focuses on improving the economy and quality of life within the 10-county region surrounding Pittsburgh.
Also Tuesday, Giant Eagle said it appointed its first non-family board chair. Bart Friedman will fill the position after serving on the board for two years, the company said in its statement. Until Tuesday, he was Giant Eagle’s lead independent director on its eight-member board.
Friedman hailed Artman’s appointment as interim CEO.
“We are more than confident he is the right leader for the next phase of this storied company,” he said in a statement.