Oran B. Robertson, 70, board chairman and chief executive of Fred Meyer Inc., announced his retirement from the Northwest's largest general retail chain and will be replaced by a former executive of K Mart.
Robertson, who guided Fred Meyer into nearly $2 billion of annual sales, will be replaced by Frederick M. Stevens, 51, who had been executive vice president of speciality retailing for K Mart in Troy, Mich. He worked for K Mart for 29 years.Stevens, a native of Jonesboro, Ark., has degrees from Louisiana State University and Harvard.
Robertson, who began his career with the Portland-based retail firm in 1945, succeeded the company founder, Fred G. Meyer, in the top post. The two are the only chief executives the company has had.
Since becoming chief executive, Robertson saw the company grow from $645 million in sales to $1.8 billion last year. He led Fred Meyer in an aggressive expansion that has carried it into new areas, including Utah and Idaho, that resulted from the acquisition of Grant Central stores.
The company, with 99 stores in six states, including Oregon, Washington, Alaska and Montana, recently announced plans to enter California.
Robertson has been involved in controversy, including turmoil over Fred Meyer Savings and Loan Association, which was later sold. He also was a trustee to settle Fred Meyer's estate, which led to lawwsuits and court appearances for the four trustees.
He also saw the chain taken private in a leveraged buyout by Kohlberg, Kravis & Roberts. He then took part in restoration of Fred Meyer as a publicly owned company.