Canadian fourth gen Rob Sobey has announced he is retiring as chief executive and president of Lawton's Drugs, an operating division of the eponymous family business, Sobeys Inc.
Sobey, 47, who has worked in the family firm for 32 years, says his decision will allow him more time to focus on his philanthropy and outside business interests, which include his role on the board of private investment Seafort Capital, alongside his father, Donald.
Sobey had been in the role for eight years, and will remain on the board of directors of Empire Company, the Nova Scotia-based holding company that owns Sobeys.
Founded in 1907 as a meat delivery business, Sobeys has grown into Canada’s second largest food retailer, and in 2012 saw revenues of CAD$16.2 billion (€11.0 billion). It operates more than 1,500 stores under a number of banners including Sobeys, Safeway, Foodland, Thrifty Foods and Lawton’s Drug Stores.
Sobeys chief executive and president Marc Poulin said: “Rob’s leadership and efforts over the past eight years have transformed Lawton's into a leading pharmacy retailer and home health care provider in Atlantic Canada and have contributed to Sobeys’ overall success during that period of time.”
In December, Paul Sobey, another fourth-gen and a first cousin of Sobey, retired as president and chief executive of Empire Company, having served in the role since 1998.