Lee Delaney, President and Chief Executive Officer of BJ’s Wholesale Club, passed away unexpectedly on April 8 from presumed natural causes, said the company in a statement. He was 49 and left behind a wife and two children.
Christopher J. Baldwin, Executive Chairman of the Board of Directors, issued the following statement on behalf of the Board: “We are shocked and profoundly saddened by the passing of Lee Delaney. Lee was a brilliant and humble leader who cared deeply for his colleagues, family, and community. We extend our most heartfelt condolences and sympathy to his family, especially his wife and two children. We will honor his legacy and remember the extraordinary impact he had on so many. Our thoughts are with them during this difficult time.”
Delaney joined BJ’s in 2016 as Executive Vice President, Chief Growth Officer, and was promoted to President in 2019. Before joining BJ’s, he was a partner in the Boston office of Bain & Company (“Bain”) from 1996 to 2016.
While at Bain, Mr. Delaney advised clients on corporate strategy, created new market entry plans, supported client acquisitions, and advised on large cost reduction programs. He had extensive experience with direct consumer and retail marketing.
Before joining Bain, he led consulting engagements for Electronic Data Systems and Deloitte Consulting. Delaney attended business school at Carnegie Mellon University, earning an MBA with top honors. He also graduated from the University of Massachusetts, where he received a B.S. with a double major in computer science and mathematics.
Bob Eddy, Executive Vice President, Chief Administrative and Financial Officer, has been named Interim Chief Executive Officer by the Board of Directors, effective immediately. Eddy joined BJ’s in 2007 and was named Executive Vice President, Chief Financial Officer in 2011. He assumed the role of Chief Administrative Officer in 2018. Additionally, Christopher J. Baldwin, Chairman of the Board of Directors, has been appointed Executive Chairman.
“Bob partnered closely with Lee and has played an integral role in transforming and growing BJ’s Wholesale Club,” said Baldwin on behalf of the Board. “We have the utmost confidence in Bob’s leadership and his deep knowledge of the business. We expect to announce permanent changes to our leadership within a reasonably short timeframe, aided by our prior succession planning.”
Headquartered in Westborough, Massachusetts, BJ’s Wholesale Club is an operator of membership warehouse clubs in the Eastern United States. The company currently operates 221 clubs and 151 BJ’s Gas locations in 17 states.