Lee Delaney (pictured), the president and CEO of BJ’s Wholesale Club, died unexpectedly on April 8 of “presumed natural causes,” according to a company statement. He was 49.
The company’s board has named Bob Eddy as interim CEO of the Westborough, Mass.–based retailer. Eddy currently serves as B.J.’s executive vice president, as well as its chief administrative and financial officer. He has been with the company since 2007.
In addition, Christopher J. Baldwin, BJ’s current board chairman and its former president, has been appointed executive chairman.
“We expect to announce permanent changes to our leadership within a reasonably short timeframe, aided by our prior succession planning,” said Baldwin in a statement.
He added the board was “shocked and profoundly saddened” by Delaney’s passing.
“Lee was a brilliant and humble leader who cared deeply for his colleagues, his family, and his community,” he said. “We extend our most heartfelt condolences and sympathy to his family.… We will honor his legacy and remember the extraordinary impact he had on so many.”
Delaney had worked at B.J.’s for the past five years. A former partner in the Boston office of Bain & Co., where he headed its consumer products division, Delaney joined the warehouse club in 2016 as executive vice president and chief growth officer. In September 2019, he was named president, and three months later, he was appointed its CEO. He took over the role in February 2020.
Before joining Bain in 1996, Delaney worked for Electronic Data Systems and Deloitte Consulting. He held a Masters of Business Administration from Carnegie Mellon University and a bachelor’s degree in computer science and mathematics from the University of Massachusetts.
He is survived by a wife and two children. No further information was available at the time of publication.
BJ’s Wholesale Club operates 221 clubs and 151 BJ’s Gas locations in 17 states.
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