Craig Sturken is set to step back from his executive chairman role at Spartan Stores

Craig Sturken is set to step back from his executive chairman role at Spartan Stores

Spartan Stores has announced that Craig Sturken will retire as executive chairman of the US grocery distributor and retailer's board - but will remain chairman and a "close advisor to the company".

Sturken said on Friday (18 February) that he and the board "agreed that stepping back from my executive responsibilities is the appropriate next step in our executive leadership transition process".

However, Sturken said he intends to remain an active and "constructive" leader of Spartan's board.

Sturken joined the company in 2003 as president and CEO and was elected as chairman in August 2003. In 2008, he was succeeded as CEO by Dennis Eidson.

The announcement comes after the company recorded an increase in net earnings during its third quarter earlier this month, despite sales falling over the period. Net profit rose 45.3% during the quarter to US$7.3m, while sales were down 0.6% to $782.3m