Gelson’s announced Tuesday that it has promoted chief operating officer John Bagan to the role of president.
In the new role, Bagan will take on more strategic management of the company, according to Gelson’s. Bagan joined Gelson’s as chief merchandising officer in 2016 and got promoted to COO in May 2021. Previously, Bagan held high-level merchandising roles at Guitar Center and Albertsons.
Rob McDougall, who had served as president and CEO, will remain as chief executive of the upscale grocery chain, which runs 27 stores in Southern California.
“John has been an integral part of the Gelson’s team for nearly six years, and we have benefited greatly from his business expertise and insight,” McDougall said in a statement. “I am confident that, as President, he will become an even stronger catalyst for our strategic initiatives and growth.”
McDougall, who has been with Gelson’s since 2007, will focus on “driving company profitability and the customer experience while managing the relationship between Gelson’s Board of Directors and parent Pan Pacific International Holdings (PPIH),” per the announcement. PPIH, the Japanese retailer that owns the owns the Don Quijote chain, bought Gelson’s last year.
Bagan’s new promotion marks the latest movement among Gelson’s top leaders. In September, the company promoted Ron Johnson from vice president of technology to chief information officer, and then in October, brought on Clare Bogle, a veteran executive in the retail and food industries, to be chief financial officer, according to their LinkedIn profiles.