Spencer Stuart Helping Fred’s Inc. Round Out Board of Directors

March 8, 2017 – Executive search firm Spencer Stuart has assisted Fred’s Inc. (Fred’s Pharmacy) in adding Christopher W. Bodine, Peter J. Bocian, and Michael K. Bloom to its board of directors. The directorship placements are part of an ongoing reconstitution process at Fred’s in which the board has been actively engaged, with the assistance of Spencer Stuart.

Mr. Bodine brings to the board his experience and expertise in leadership roles at CVS Caremark Corporation and in other industries. During his 24-year tenure at CVS, he helped build and transform the company globally, holding positions that included executive vice president and president – healthcare services, where he was responsible for strategy, business development, trade relations, sales and account management, pharmacy merchandising, marketing, information technology and the company’s MinuteClinic.

Mr. Bocian brings to the board extensive executive expertise from the retail and technology sectors, where he compiled a track record of creating substantial value at a number of highly recognized global companies. He has significant financial, accounting and technology expertise. Mr. Bocian has served in C-suite or executive level finance and administrative roles at NCR, Starbucks, Hewlett-Packard, JPMorgan Chase and Safeway, where he most recently served as EVP and CFO until 2015.

Mr. Bloom, who was appointed CEO of Fred’s Pharmacy in August, brings to the board more than 30 years of experience in small-box retail pharmacy, general merchandising, marketing, supply chain and store operations. Prior to joining Fred’s, he served as president and COO of Family Dollar Stores and spent more than 20 years with CVS Caremark Corp.

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“We are pleased to welcome Chris, Pete and Mike to the Fred’s Pharmacy board of directors,” said Thomas H. Tashjian, chairman of the board. “This is an exciting time for Fred’s Pharmacy, as our highly experienced management team continues to execute on value-enhancing initiatives, including acquiring 865 Rite Aid stores, optimizing our store fleet and upgrading our technology infrastructure.”

He said all three of the new appointed directors strengthen the board by contributing their vast knowledge of the retail and healthcare industries, bringing substantial leadership experience and financial expertise and strong track records of integrating acquisitions. He said Fred’s board composition will continue to “transform” as it focuses on establishing the right mix of experience, expertise and culture fit among its members.

Tracing its history back to an original store in Coldwater, MS opened in 1947, today Fred’s Pharmacy is headquartered in Memphis and operates 643 pharmacy and general merchandise stores and three specialty pharmacy-only locations, including 14 franchised Fred’s Pharmacy locations.

Luring Directors

Spencer Stuart’s board practice has deep knowledge of governance issues and its international network of consultants has conducted more than 1,800 director searches over the past 36 months. More than 30 percent of its director placements last year were women. Clients include public, private equity-backed, major private and family-owned businesses, as well as startups and non-profit organizations. Julie Hembrock Daum serves as head of Spencer Stuart’s North American board practice.

Director recruiting has grown markedly more challenging in recent months, according to recruiters with board practice emphasis. According to rival recruiting outfit Egon Zehnder, heightened expectations now placed on boards have elevated both the professional standards and personal commitment required of all directors.

At the same time, many boards find that the supply of independent-minded ‘board experienced’ directors – especially those who can add vital forms of specialized skills and expertise – is limited, as such candidates are both widely sought after yet sometimes hesitant to take on the intensive responsibilities now required of board service.

As a result, companies continue to turn to executive search firms to help them lure new board members. Most in demand, recruiters report: women, senior leaders with global experience, ethnically diverse professionals, and Millennials.

Here’s a brief look at a small selection of search firms and their recent board work taken from the Hunt Scanlon Media newswire archives:

Contributed by Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor, Hunt Scanlon Media

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