OTTAWA — Andy Gross is stepping down from his position as chief executive officer of iconic Ottawa-based discount retailer Giant Tiger.
Gross was appointed to the position in October 2010 and helped steer the company through the economic doldrums of the global recession and the introduction of U.S. retail giant Target into the Canadian marketplace.
In an open letter, Gross thanked the company’s employees for their support and said he has spent the past year preparing company president Greg Farrell for the firm’s top job.
Farrell has been with the chain since 2000 and has served in numerous executive positions, including executive vice-president and chief financial officer.
“I am particularly proud of what we have accomplished over the past few years with increased competition during a weak economic period,” Gross wrote in his letter. “I believe we have built a much stronger and deeper team comprised of experienced long-serving team members alongside some new bright and energetic individuals, all of who will be key to our continued success in the future.”
The letter says Gross will step down on Aug. 1.
Officials from Giant Tiger did not respond Tuesday to repeated requests for comment on the transition.
Gross took over the job as company chief executive from Giant Tiger’s founder, 80-year-old Gordon Reid. The company is privately held and does not divulge financial details publicly.
Gross, born in Oakville, started working as a buyer for the retailer when it had fewer than 30 stores nationwide. He has been with Giant Tiger for 28 years now. The company employs more 7,000 and operates more than 200 stores across the country.