Report: H-E-B’s CFO to take on more duties

7/13/2009

SAN ANTONIO, Texas H.E. Butt Grocery Co. said that its CFO, Martin Otto, will take on additional duties as chief merchant on Jan. 1.

“Martin is a powerful and well-rounded leader with the proven ability to meet our customers’ ever-changing needs,” H-E-B chairman and CEO Charles Butt said. “is insight as chief merchant will ensure that we continue to be strongly positioned for success now and in the future.”

Otto will succeed 16-year veteran Steve Harper, who will transition to a part-time position with the grocery company after the New Year. Harper also will mentor leaders at the San Antonio-based company.

Otto joined H-E-B in 1991 and has held several executive positions at the company. He will retain the job of CFO after he assumes the chief merchant’s post.

In a brief interview, Otto explained that in his new position, he will be responsible for procuring “most of the things that we sell, not including gasoline.”

He will oversee all product buying and how the items are displayed in H-E-B stores. He’ll also supervise selection of new items for the San Antonio-based grocery, which has sales of $15 billion annually and operates more than 300 stores in Texas and Mexico.

In addition, Otto said he'll work with teams that are responsible for H-E-B’s private-label products and with the company's manufacturing teams.

“We make a relatively significant amount of the items that we sell here in San Antonio and elsewhere in the state,” he said.

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