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BJ’s Wholesale Club CEO dies unexpectedly at 49


Lee Delaney, CEO of BJ’s Wholesale Club, died unexpectedly on Thursday. He was 49.

The warehouse chain shared the news in a release on Friday, noting that Delaney passed of “presumed natural causes.”

“We are shocked and profoundly saddened by the passing of Lee Delaney,” said Christopher J. Baldwin, executive chairman of BJ’s board of directors, in a statement. “Lee was a brilliant and humble leader who cared deeply for his colleagues, his family and his community.”

Bob Eddy, chief administrative and financial officer, was named the interim CEO, effective immediately. Eddy has been with BJ’s since 2007 and became CFO in 2011.

“Bob partnered closely with Lee and has played an integral role in transforming and growing BJ’s Wholesale Club,” Baldwin noted. The board plans to announce permanent changes to the leadership team “within a reasonably short timeframe,” he said.

BJ’s shares were down about 1.5% in Friday afternoon trading.

Delaney joined BJ’s as chief growth officer in 2016. He was appointed CEO in late 2019, and stepped into the role in February of last year.

He oversaw the company during the pandemic, when shoppers flocked to the chain for essential items. Revenue grew 17% in the year ending Jan. 31, according to BJ’s latest earnings report.

BJ’s is based in Westborough, Massachusetts, and went public in 2018. It has locations on the East Coast and in Michigan. BJ’s has fewer stores than its competitors, Sam’s Club and Costco, and its locations are a little smaller, though BJ’s carries a wider variety of items.

-— CNN Business’ Nathaniel Meyersohn contributed to this report.

Article Topic Follows: Money

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