Loblaw executive chairman Weston takes on president's role

Thu Jul 17, 2014 7:27am EDT
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July 17 (Reuters) - Loblaw Cos Ltd, Canada's largest grocer, appointed Executive Chairman Galen Weston president as part of a management shakeup aimed at helping the company better compete with U.S. rivals.

Weston, son of the founder of George Weston Ltd - Loblow's largest shareholder - will be responsible for the company's overall business performance as president, the company said.

Loblaw has been struggling with higher fuel costs, a weak Canadian dollar and an increase in minimum wages in Ontario, while trying to fend off competition from Wal-Mart Stores Inc and Target Corp.

Weston replaces Vicente Trius, who is leaving the company for family reasons. Weston's appointment is effective immediately.

The company, which acquired Shoppers Drug Mart more than a year ago, said Domenic Pilla, the president of the pharmacy chain, would leave by the end of the year.

The company also appointed a new chief financial officer on Thursday. (Reporting By Shubhankar Chakravorty in Bangalore; Editing by Saumyadeb Chakrabarty)