Northeast Grocery, Inc. (NGI) CEO Frank Curci has announced his retirement as part of the company’s succession planning. Following an internal and external search, John Persons, NGI’s chief operating officer, has been named to succeed him, effective February 26, 2024.
Headquartered in Schenectady, NY, NGI is the parent company of Price Chopper/Market 32 and Tops Friendly Markets, which collectively operate nearly 300 supermarkets across New York, Massachusetts, Vermont, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, and New Hampshire and employ more than 30,000 associates.
A 40-year industry veteran who started as a cashier at Tops and rose to the president’s office, Persons has spent his entire career with the Williamsville-based grocery chain and now Northeast Grocery.
During his tenure at Tops, he oversaw various functions, including operations, merchandising, sales and marketing, real estate, information technology, and organizational strategy, leading to his appointment as president in 2015.
Persons has served as NGI’s COO since June 2023, overseeing both the Price Chopper/Market 32 and Tops Markets operating companies and Northeast Shared Services’ merchandising and marketing functions.
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In turn, reflecting on his career, Cursi said: “The 43 years I have spent in this business have been challenging and rewarding beyond measure and, without a doubt, the recent years spent planning and then bringing NGI to life have been some of the most gratifying.”
“I’m delighted that John has been chosen to succeed me. He has been instrumental in our merger success, providing the necessary leadership these past few years to position Northeast Grocery for success. While John’s strategic mindset is poised to lead our multifaceted business day to day, he also possesses a great vision for our path forward,” Curci added.
One of Curci’s accomplishments as NGI’s CEO has been to develop a team of seasoned executives across Tops, Price Chopper/Market 32, and Northeast Shared Services (a subsidiary of NGI providing services to both operating companies) capable of providing experienced leadership and fueling an internal succession plan.
That plan ultimately led to the selection of Persons to succeed Curci.
A Western New York native, Persons holds a B.A. and an M.B.A. from the University at Buffalo.
“I am thrilled to lead Northeast Grocery forward in collaboration with the talented teammates and associates at Northeast Shared Services, Price Chopper/Market 32, and Tops, who are dedicated to nourishing the communities we serve,” said Persons.
“On behalf of all 30,000 of us, I’d like to express gratitude to Frank Curci for his leadership and mentorship over the years and reiterate my commitment to build on the momentum and success he has fostered,” Persons concluded.