GM Paul Guidone

A Special Letter From the GM

For those of you who are frequent readers of my emails, you will know my writing style follows what I call the three C’s of communication – clear, consistent and concise. I tend not to add extraneous detail or information, but on this occasion I will.

After a lot of thinking, discussion and consideration, I have decided to retire. When my wife and I first began discussing this, she was not at all surprised. She reminded me that I am a six-speed sports car that only uses two speeds – sixth and park. So considering retirement after a career spanning over four decades, with the last six years here at the Co-op, was not at all shocking. However, she also reminded me that I may have been the GM but that she is the ultimate boss. Period.

Last Sunday, I informed the Co-op Board of my decision. While I suspect that they were surprised, they have graciously accepted my decision. My last day at the Co-op will be April 29, 2022, six months from now.

You may ask why 6 months? Simple really. First, professional courtesy and respect. When senior managers, regardless of their industry, retire from an organization it is standard practice to provide their Board ample time to plan for their replacement. After all, you plan for retirement – it just does not happen. Furthermore, there are several Co-ops in our geographic region whose GMs have recently announced their retirement. In those instances, the GMs provided six months advance notice.

Second, and equally important, there is still a lot of work to be done. The months of November and December will see the completion of the Lebanon project, the delivery of the final report from our energy consultants (VEIC), the third party review of our market – based compensation program, and the completion and presentation of the 2022 operating plan and budget. January and February are the final months leading up to the auditors presenting their audited financial statements for 2021. During March, the 2021 Ends report is presented to the Board. April is the full month of voting for the open Board seats, anticipated to be six seats this year. While several Board committees are charged with sourcing candidates to run, management/operations has more formally been charged with running the administrative side of the election process. Again, I want to see it through to its conclusion. Furthermore, with half of the Board members to be newly elected, it makes sense that whoever succeeds me as GM should build the relationship with the new Board.

Most importantly, I want to say that it has been a great privilege to have had the opportunity to lead the incredible team here at the Co-op as your GM. I thank the Co-op Board for affording me that tremendous honor. I also want to express my heartfelt gratitude to each of you for your support, hard work and professionalism. I know it has not been an easy couple of years. But despite the challenges you faced, and the frustrations those challenges brought on for all of us, you carried yourself with the utmost grace and dignity. I know you will continue to support the Co-op, the Board, your new GM and the Leadership Team long into the future.

You guys rock – you know it and I know it.

Thank you! And, remember, calm and focus wins the day!

Onward and upward,

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Paul Guidone

Paul Guidone

Paul Guidone, CFA, spent the better part of four decades in the investment management business here and abroad. He held positions ranging from analyst through Deputy Chairman and Group CEO, at organizations such as Citigroup (US) and The HSBC Group (London and Hong Kong). He joined the Co-op in 2016 as the CFO and in 2018 became Strategic Advisor to the General Manager. Paul was appointed by the Co-op Board as interim General Manager in March 2020 and General Manager in September 2020. To contact, email PGuidone@coopfoodstore.com.