Bertram to leave Giant, Ruane stepping in

Nicholas Bertram, left, is stepping down as president of The Giant Co. John Ruane, right, will become interim president. (photos/submitted)

The Giant Co. president Nicholas Bertram is leaving the company Aug. 31 to pursue “new opportunities,” the regional grocery chain’s parent company announced yesterday.

  • Bertram, who has been president of Carlisle-based Giant since 2018, did not disclose what those opportunities might be.
  • Giant spokesperson Christy Phillips-Brown described it as a personal decision.
  • John Ruane, Giant’s chief commercial officer, will fill in as interim president until a successor is named, according to a press release from Giant parent Ahold Delhaize USA
  • “Leading The Giant Company to be designed for the way families live now has been a great honor, and I am excited about the growing momentum of our purpose-led teammates,” Bertram said in a statement. “That, along with the strength of our leadership team, makes now the most natural time for me to step away.”

What’s the resume: Bertram joined Ahold Delhaize in 2013 as senior vice president of merchandising after stints at Walmart and JCPenney, among other retailers.

  • He was named president of Giant after the departure of Tom Lenkevich.
  • Under Bertram’s leadership, Giant has grown to 192 supermarkets in Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia and New Jersey. The company employs more than 35,000 people.
  • He oversaw expansion of the grocer’s ecommerce operations, as well, and a major push into the Philadelphia market, which has included introduction of a new, smaller store format known as Giant Heirloom.
  • Bertram also has been steering Giant through the Covid-19 pandemic and the recent surge in food and fuel prices.
  • “We have been fortunate to have Nick lead The Giant Company during his nine-year tenure,” Kevin Holt, president of Ahold Delhaize USA, said in a statement, citing Bertram’s commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion, as well as health and sustainability.
  • Earlier this year, the company sponsored an urban garden in Harrisburg at the former Bishop McDevitt High School, which is slated for redevelopment.
  • Other recent ventures include a partnership with Harrisburg University of Science and Technology to develop a Center for Advanced Agriculture and Sustainability.
  • “Under Nick’s leadership Giant has built on their legacy of being regional civic and philanthropic leaders,” said Ryan Unger, president and CEO of the Harrisburg Regional Chamber and Capital Region Economic Development Corp. “I’ve always appreciated Nick’s laser focus to use their resources in a data driven way to move the needle in fighting hunger and promoting sustainability through innovative agriculture. We’re excited to see where Giant goes next, as they have always been a regional leader.”

Any extracurricular activities: Yes. 

In the interim: Ruane joined Ahold Delhaize in 2011.

  • He began working for Giant in 2018.
  • In addition to his corporate roles, Ruane is on the board of Philabundance, a hunger-relief organization in Philadelphia.

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