- Dollar General has dismissed its CEO, Jeffery Owen, and brought back the executive he replaced to run the company, the discount retail chain announced Thursday.
- Todd Vasos, whose appointment as CEO of Dollar General was effective immediately, retired from the post in November 2022.
- Dollar General said it concluded that it needed to replace Owen “to restore stability and confidence in the Company moving forward.”
Owen’s dismissal represents an abrupt change of course for Dollar General, which only last year praised him as an effective leader and said he was well positioned to continue the growth trajectory Vasos had presided over.
Dollar General announced in July 2022 that Owen, who served as chief operating officer before being tapped as CEO, would take over the top job on Nov. 1 upon Vasos’ retirement. Owen joined Dollar General in 1992 as a store manager and served in several other positions, including executive vice president of store operations, before becoming COO in 2019.
“The Board has tremendous respect for Jeff and greatly appreciates his many contributions to the Company, especially during his long tenure leading our retail operations,” Dollar General Chairman Michael Calbert said in a statement about the company’s decision to push Owen out.
Calbert added that Vasos had remained close to Dollar General after stepping down.
“Since Todd’s retirement in April, he has remained active as a member of our Board and is acutely aware of the challenges facing our business and the industry more broadly. We are confident Todd’s deep expertise and familiarity with Dollar General, as well as the strong relationships and respect he has maintained with our executive team, will support a seamless transition,” Calbert said.
Vasos said he was eager to step out of retirement and assume daily responsibility for steering Dollar General, which has recently been dealing with declining profitability and weak sales. Dollar General’s share price tumbled during Owen’s tenure as CEO, falling from over $250 on the day he took over to $101.83 when the stock market closed on Thursday. The stock was up about 10% on Friday morning.
“I am honored to be rejoining Dollar General at this pivotal time for our Company,” said Vasos. “I look forward to getting back to work with the broader team as we strive to return to a position of operational excellence for our employees and customers and deliver sustainable long-term growth and value creation for our shareholders.”
Vasos will retain his seat on Dollar General’s board of directors.
According to a Form 8-K Dollar General filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission last year when it announced plans for Vasos’ retirement, Owen is entitled to severance benefits that include receiving his base annual salary of $1.1 million for two years.