Empire Co. has promoted Marc Poulin to the post of president and CEO of its Canadian grocery chain Sobeys.

Poulin replaces Bill McEwan, who announced his intention to step down in February. The appointment comes into effect on 29 June.

Poulin joined the company in 1997 and has held a number of senior positions,including president of operations, Sobeys Quebec and, most recently, president of IGA operations business unit, Sobeys.

“We are delighted to have such a seasoned and highly qualified food retailer with a solid reputation across our industry and proven capabilities to lead Sobeys’ food focused strategy forward,” said Empire chairman Rob Dexter.

“Under Marc’s operational leadership our business in Quebec has thrived and is widely recognised as amongst the best food store portfolios in North America.”

In March, Sobeys booked a 1.6% increase in net earnings to C$222.9m (US$215.9m) for the nine months to 4 February. EBITDA fell 2% to C$598.1m, although adjusted EBITDA climbed 0.9% to C$587m. Sales increased 3.2% to C$12.02bn.