LAKELAND, Fla.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Last month, David Bridges, Vice President of Fresh Product Business Development, announced his decision to retire Jan. 1, 2016, after 49 years of service to the company.
Bridges’s career began in 1966 at store #0011, Lakeland, Florida, as a front service clerk. By 1981, he was promoted to store manager and in 1987 he became a district manager. In 1994 he was promoted to Lakeland Division regional director and to Vice President of Retail Business Development in 2000. In 2001 Bridges was named Vice President of Fresh Product Business Development where he has served for the last 14 years.
Publix President Todd Jones said, “David has been a dedicated Publix associate and an integral part of the growth of our fresh and meals departments. He has a passion for providing premier service to his customers and for the training, development and advancement of his team. We will miss David and wish him well as he begins the next chapter of his life."
Upon Bridges’s retirement, Atlanta Division Regional Director Chris Litz will be promoted to Vice President of Fresh Product Business Development.
Litz began his Publix career in 1987 at store #0123, in Sarasota, Florida as a stock clerk. He worked various positions before becoming a store manager in 1995 and Lakeland Division district manager in 2000. He was promoted to director of warehousing in 2007 and his current position in 2010.
“Chris’s experience in retail and support makes him an ideal candidate for this leadership position,” said CEO Ed Crenshaw. “His knowledge of both facets of our operations will continue to move our fresh retail business units forward.”
Chris and his wife, Debbie, will soon be relocating from Atlanta to Lakeland. Chris enjoys diving, boating and running.
At the same time, this position will realign to report to Senior Vice President Dave Bornmann. Bornmann currently has responsibility over grocery and customer service business development. The realignment will allow insight across center and perimeter store, as well as frontend operating area impacting the customer shopping experience.
Publix is privately owned and operated by its 176,500 employees, with 2014 sales of $30.6 billion. Currently Publix has 1,103 stores in Florida, Georgia, Alabama, Tennessee, South Carolina and North Carolina. The company has been named one of FORTUNE’s “100 Best Companies to Work For in America” for 18 consecutive years. In addition, Publix’s dedication to superior quality and customer service is recognized among the top in the grocery business. For more information, visit the company’s website, corporate.publix.com.