Dollar Tree promotes Philbin to CEO role

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Dollar Tree promotes Philbin to CEO role

By Gina Acosta - 09/18/2017

Dollar Tree has named a new CEO on the heels of the company’s best quarterly performance since 2014.

The retailer announced that Gary Philbin will replace Bob Sasser as chief executive of the discounter effective immediately.

Sasser, who had led the company as CEO for 13 years, will move to executive chairman of the board.

"I am extremely proud of our company and especially the 180,000 associates that work hard, delivering value and convenience to millions of customers every day. Our people make Dollar Tree and Family Dollar stores among the best retailers in North America," Sasser said. "We have built a solid and scalable infrastructure. We have room to grow and tremendous opportunities to serve more customers in more ways, while increasing returns for our long-term shareholders. Our company's future has never been brighter!"

Over the past few years Dollar Tree's financial performance has been challenged by food deflation, increasing competition and the integration of the Family Dollar business. But those concerns seem to be abating for now. 

When it reported second quarter revenue last month, Dollar Tree had net sales of $5.3 billion, a 5.7% increase. Same-store sales increased by 2.4%, reflecting 3.9% comps at Dollar Tree and 1% comps at Family Dollar. The comps were the best for the company since 2014.

Sasser started at Dollar Tree in 1999 and was promoted to president and operating chief in 2001. In 2004, he assumed the CEO role. Dollar Tree grew to $22 billion in revenue projected this year from $1 billion in revenue when Sasser took over. The chain also grew to 14,500 retail stores from 1,200 at the start of Sasser's tenure.

During Sasser's tenure, Dollar Tree has grown from a company with 18,000 employees; fewer than 1,200 stores in 33 states; four distribution centers; and less than $1 billion in annual sales to a Fortune 150 company with nearly 180,000 employees; more than 14,500 retail stores; and an international supply chain with 24 distribution centers across North America. For 2017, revenues are projected to exceed $22 billion. The Company completed six acquisitions during Sasser's tenure, including the $9.1 billion acquisition of Family Dollar Stores, Inc. in 2015. Dollar Tree's market capitalization has grown from approximately $2.3 billion to $19.8 billion during this time.

Philbin, age 60, joined Dollar Tree in 2001 as Senior Vice President of Stores. He was promoted to Chief Operating Officer in 2007, and to President and Chief Operating Officer in 2013. In July 2015, Mr. Philbin assumed the role of President and Chief Operating Officer of Family Dollar upon its acquisition by Dollar Tree. In January 2017, Mr. Philbin was promoted to Enterprise President with responsibilities for both Dollar Tree and Family Dollar banners.

"Bob has led Dollar Tree to industry-leading returns for shareholders and success for all of our stakeholders," Philbin said. "Bob's vision has transformed Dollar Tree from a small, regional retailer to a world class, Fortune 150 Company across the United States and Canada. Our retail business model can operate successfully in tough times and good times, as we have demonstrated under Bob's leadership as CEO."


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