CHESAPEAKE, Va. — There's been a changing of the guard at Dollar Tree as the man who grew the chain into a $22 billion retail powerhouse moves into a new role.
The discounter has appointed Gary Philbin, enterprise president, as CEO, effective immediately. He succeeds Bob Sasser, who will become executive chairman of Dollar Tree's board.
Philbin, 60, joined Dollar Tree in 2001 as senior VP of stores, and was promoted to COO in 2007. He assumed the role of president and COO of Family Dollar upon its acquisition by Dollar Tree. In January 2017, Philbin was promoted to enterprise president with responsibilities for both Dollar Tree and Family Dollar banners.
"Bob (Sasser) has led Dollar Tree to industry-leading returns for shareholders and success for all of our stakeholders,” stated Philbin. “Our retail business model can operate successfully in tough times and good times, as we have demonstrated under Bob’s leadership as CEO.”
Sasser, 65, oversaw Dollar Tree's $9.1 billion acquisition of Family Dollar in 2015. He joined Dollar Tree in 1999 as COO. He was promoted to president and COO in 2001, and to president and CEO in 2004.
During Sasser’s tenure, Dollar Tree grew from a company with fewer than 1,200 stores in 33 states; four distribution centers; and less than $1 billion in annual sales to a company with more than 14,500 retail stores; and an international supply chain with 24 distribution centers across North America. For 2017, revenues are projected to exceed $22 billion. The company completed six acquisitions during Sasser’s tenure.
"Working with our board of directors, I have been planning leadership succession for some time and we are confident this will be a seamless transition, both inside and outside of the company," Philbin stated. "Our board of directors and leadership team have complete confidence in Gary’s ability to lead Dollar Tree through its next phases of growth.”
Dollar Tree operates stores under the brands of Dollar Tree, Family Dollar and Dollar Tree Canada.