Former Walmart exec becomes CEO at PetSmart

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Former Walmart exec becomes CEO at PetSmart

By Gina Acosta - 05/21/2018
J.K. Symancyk will become Chief Executive Officer the week of June 11 and will join PetSmart’s Board of Directors.

PetSmart has hired the chief executive of Academy Sports to become its next CEO.

The retailer said J.K. Symancyk will become Chief Executive Officer the week of June 11 and will join PetSmart’s Board of Directors.

Symancyk, a consumer and retail veteran with more than 25 years of industry experience, joins PetSmart from Academy Sports + Outdoors, a more than $4 billion omnichannel specialty retailer where he has served as President and CEO since 2015. Symancyk brings to PetSmart deep operational experience across all areas of retail, including merchandising, consumer brand marketing, proprietary brands, services and ecommerce.

“The Board and I are confident that J.K. has the right qualities to lead PetSmart,” said Raymond Svider, Managing Partner at BC Partners and Executive Chairman of PetSmart. “J.K. has a 25-year track record as a proven leader, and has driven profitable growth in large, multi-channel consumer businesses. J.K. brings significant experience in managing complex retail operations, growing brands, improving operating performance and customer experience and delivering results. We look forward to working with and supporting J.K. as he leads PetSmart forward on its transformational journey to be the most convenient, best-in-class pet retailer.”

At Academy Sports + Outdoors, Symancyk focused on creating and implementing a new strategic growth plan and leading internal teams to improve organizational performance. Previously, he served as President of Meijer, where he was responsible for leading all aspects of the $16 billion retailer. Symancyk also worked in various management and merchandising positions with Wal-Mart Stores, including with Sam’s Club.

“PetSmart is an iconic brand with a strong footprint in brick and mortar and digital. I am looking forward to working with the talented management team to grow the business and to continue to fulfill the mission to be the trusted partner to pets and pet parents. This is an exciting and dynamic time for retail, and we will work together to create additional opportunities for growth and deliver the best and most convenient experience for our customers and their pets across all of PetSmart’s channels,” said Symancyk.

PetSmart operates more than 1,600 pet stores in the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico, as well as more than 200 in-store PetSmart PetsHotel dog and cat boarding facilities.

In May 2017, PetSmart acquired Chewy.com, a leading online retailer of pet food and products in the U.S., which operates as an independent subsidiary.

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