The CEO and president of BJ’s Wholesale Club, Lee Delaney, passed away unexpectedly April 8 at age 49, the company announced.
Westborough, Massachusetts-based BJ’s, a membership warehouse retailer, operates 221 clubs and 151 BJ’s Gas locations in 17 states. Delaney joined the company in 2016 as chief growth officer before taking the helm in late 2019. According to a company statement, Delaney passed of presumed natural causes.
“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, his family and his community,” Christopher J. Baldwin, executive chairman of the Board of Directors of BJ’s, said in a statement. “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.”
Baldwin was appointed executive chairman by the Board of Directors. Bob Eddy, executive vice president, chief administrative and financial officer, has been appointed interim CEO by the Board of Directors, effective immediately. Eddy has been with the company since 2007, as executive vice president, before also becoming chief financial officer in 2011. He took on the role of chief administrative officer in 2018.
“Bob partnered closely with Lee and has played an integral role in transforming and growing BJ’s Wholesale Club,” Baldwin said 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.”
BJs has been in growth mode since 2020 after experiencing a jump in sales during the Covid-19 pandemic.