The president and CEO of Canadian retailer Sobeys has announced his intention to retire on health grounds.

Bill McEwan, who has held the position of president and CEO of Sobeys since November 2000, will retire early in the company’s next fiscal year due to “a continuing health issue”. The implementation of a succession process to replace McEwan is underway, the company said.

“Bill recently advised our board of his intention to retire and we obviously respect and support the decision he has made,” Rob Dexter, CEO of Sobeys parent company Empire Co., said yesterday (8 February). “Our succession process has been designed to identify a successor who will continue to drive the company’s food focused strategy forward. We will consider all suitable candidates and are fortunate to have very strong internal candidates.”

McEwan will continue in his role until the completion of a transition expected early in the company’s next fiscal year which begins 6 May.