Dale C. Henley, president and CEO of Haggen, Inc. since 1996, announced his retirement Wednesday.
Henley said a nationwide search will begin immediately for a new president and CEO of Haggen. He will remain as president and CEO until a replacement is named, but no later than June 30, 2010. Henley will then become a non-executive chairman of the board of Haggen and continue as president and CEO of Briar Development Co., a Haggen affiliate that develops and owns real estate.
“While I reach this decision with mixed emotions, I will be 65 in May 2010 and want time to relax and pursue other activities,” Henley said in a press release. “I am very excited to begin this new phase of my life.”
Henley started in the grocery industry as a youth, working for 10 years in his family’s market in Mount Vernon. He graduated from Western Washington University with a degree in economics and accounting. Henley joined the Bellingham accounting firm of Metcalf Hodges as a staff accountant and became a managing partner during his 16 years there. Henley also served as executive vice president of Trillium Corp., a regional real-estate developer.
Henley joined Haggen as vice president of finance in 1984 and was promoted to a senior vice president and chief financial officer five years later. He became the company’s first non-family member to be appointed president and CEO in 1996. During Henley’s leadership, Haggen built or acquired 17 of the company’s 33 stores.
Henley said his keys to success were “a commitment to excellence, hiring the best people and being dedicated to the truth, whether good or bad. Try to always do what you think is right, not what is easy.”
Bellingham-based Haggen, Inc. operates 33 supermarkets in Washington and Oregon under the Haggen Food & Pharmacy and TOP Food & Drug names. The company had revenue of $844 million in 2008, ranking 72nd among all North American food retailers.
It also has been among Washington’s top 10 private companies in revenue in recent years and currently is eighth, according to the Puget Sound Business Journal. Haggen currently employs 3,800 people.