As part of a long-term leadership strategy, Tops Friendly Markets has named John Persons, long-time Tops associate and executive, as president and chief operating officer while Frank Curci will continue to actively serve as Tops chief executive officer and board chairman, the company announced Tuesday.
“John’s appointment is the first step in an organized and planned effort to ensure we have consistent and experienced leadership to guide the future growth and success of Tops Friendly Markets,” Curci said. “Over the past eight years, John has played a significant role in building our organization and is committed to ensuring that Tops is providing the best value possible for our many customers.”
Persons will oversee all store operations in Tops’ three-state geographic footprint and all sales, marketing and merchandising operations.
“I look forward as president and COO to working with all members of the Tops family — associates, vendors and suppliers — as we strive to provide Tops’ customers with what they want, when they want it, and saves them time and money,” he said.
Persons has been with Tops for more than 30 years, most recently serving as executive vice president of sales, marketing and merchandising. Prior to that, he was senior vice president of retail operations from 2007 to 2014 and vice president of retail operations from 2000 to 2007.
He has been a board director of the company since 2013, having been part of the management team, led by Curci, which bought out Tops from its previous owner, Morgan Stanley Private Equity, in December 2013.
Curci has served as president, chief executive officer and director of the company since December 2007 when Morgan Stanley Private Equity purchased Tops Friendly Markets from Koninklijke Ahold, N.V. (Ahold). He became chairman of the board of directors upon the 2013 management buyout, which returned Tops to local ownership.
Under Curci’s leadership, Tops has more than doubled the number of stores to 165 full-service supermarkets, expanded its geographic reach into eastern and northern New York, Vermont and northern Pennsylvania, invested more than $200 million in store renovations and updates, and created gourmet retailer Orchard Fresh in Orchard Park, Erie County.