Smart & Final promotes grocery vet to CEO

The new leader began in the industry in 1977 as a clerk.
Dan Ochwat
Executive Editor
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Scott Drew

Smart & Final has named a veteran of the grocery business its new CEO.

Scott Drew was promoted to president and chief executive officer, following the retirement of David Hirz. Earlier this year, Smart & Final had been acquired by Bodega Latina Corp., a subsidiary of Mexican supermarket operator Grupo Comercial Chedraui.

Drew began his career as a clerk in 1977 and steadily built a successful retail career, serving as chief operating officer of Smart & Final since June 2020. He came to the retailerl in 2010 from Kroger, where he managed the role of a vice president of store operations in Indianapolis.

Starting in February, Drew will replace Hirz, another veteran who started in the business as a teenager. A former president at Ralphs and Food 4 Less, Hirz was hired as president and COO of Smart & Final in 2010 and promoted to CEO two years later.

The leadership shift isn’t the only change at the organization. Smart & Final’s parent company, Bodega Latina, announced that it is changing its name to Chedraui USA. The renamed organization will include Smart & Final and other U.S. retail banners El Super and Fiesta Mart.

Chedraui USA will remain a subsidiary of Grupo Comercial Chedraui, a publicly-owned company that operates stores throughout Mexico and the U.S.

“We are pleased to announce Scott’s promotion as president of Smart & Final. His deep industry experience and years of operational leadership at Smart & Final will drive the brand’s continued success,” said Carlos Smith, president and CEO of the newly-christened Chedraui USA, adding, “Dave Hirz is a legend in the grocery industry, and we are grateful for his leadership during his many years of service. He led this business through the expansion of our Extra! store format, the introduction of e-commerce and delivery, and the challenges of a worldwide pandemic. He has left an indelible mark on Smart & Final, and his numerous contributions will not be forgotten.”

Commerce, Calif.-based Smart & Final operates 254 locations, including larger-format stores under the Smart & Final Extra! banner that combine a warehouse-store format with traditional grocery offerings.