BJ’s Wholesale Club CEO Lee Delaney dies unexpectedly

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FILE PHOTO: A line of shoppers wait to enter BJ's Wholesale Club market at the Palisades Center shopping mall in West Nyack

(Reuters) – BJ’s Wholesale Club Holdings Inc said on Friday Chief Executive Officer Lee Delaney, 49, had died unexpectedly due to presumed natural causes.

Bob Eddy, who has been the company’s finance chief since 2011, will take over as CEO on an interim basis, the wholesale retailer said.

Delaney, a former Bain Capital partner, took over as BJ’s CEO in early 2020, guiding it through the COVID-19 crisis and supply challenges driven by consumers stockpiling everything from cleaning supplies and toilet paper to fresh meat.

BJ’s stock had more than doubled during Delaney’s time at the helm, with the company consistently beating quarterly sales estimates through the last year.

The company’s shares fell about 1.3% to $44.21 in morning trade.

“We expect to announce permanent changes to our leadership within a reasonably short timeframe,” Executive Chairman Christopher Baldwin said.

(Reporting by Uday Sampath in Bengaluru; Editing by Devika Syamnath)

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