Dollar General Corp. Chief Executive Officer Jeff Owen stepped down after nearly a year in the role during which the shares plunged and workplace safety concerns mounted.
(Bloomberg) — Dollar General Corp. Chief Executive Officer Jeff Owen stepped down after nearly a year in the role during which the shares plunged and workplace safety concerns mounted.
Todd Vasos, who earlier served as CEO from 2015 to 2022, took back the reins Thursday and has agreed to lead Dollar General for the “foreseeable future,” the company said.
“At this time, the board has determined that a change in leadership is necessary to restore stability and confidence in the company moving forward,” Dollar General said in a statement.
Read More: Working at Dollar General Is So Awful Even Investors Are Worried
During Vasos’ previous seven-year stint as CEO, Dollar General shares grew by more than 230%, annual revenue doubled and he oversaw the addition of 7,000 stores. Under Owen, the shares lost two-thirds of their value, while attention has focused on safety conditions, according to an investigation by Bloomberg Businessweek.
While dollar stores across the US have been largely resilient as high inflation has left consumers looking for deals, Dollar General has struggled with both store safety and employee retention in recent years.
In 2022, it became the first major retailer deemed a “severe violator” of federal workplace safety law, and has failed hundreds of government inspections. A report this month from Harvard’s Shift Project showed that most hourly employees at the company don’t have access to paid sick leave.
Investors welcomed the leadership move, sending Dollar General shares up 7.5% in trading before US markets opened Friday.
Dollar General also cut its forecast for annual net sales growth to a range to 1.5% to 2.5% from the earlier view that topped out at 3.3%.
Vasos’ return mirrors that of Walt Disney Co. CEO Bob Iger, who left the entertainment giant as executive chairman in 2021 but supplanted successor Bob Chapek as CEO in November.
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