- Dollar Tree has named Rick Dreiling as CEO, effective Jan. 29, the discount retailer announced Tuesday. Dreiling, who has served as executive chairman of the discount retailer since last March, will retain that title as he assumes the chief executive’s role.
- Dreiling, a former supermarket executive, is taking over the top job from Mike Witynski, who has served as CEO of Dollar Tree since July 2020 and will be departing the company.
- The leadership change comes as Dollar Tree looks to strengthen its ties with cost-conscious consumers against a backdrop of continuing high inflation.
Dreiling brings a wealth of retail experience to his expanded position at Dollar Tree, including roughly seven years as CEO and eight as chairman of archrival discounter Dollar General, where he worked from 2008 to 2016. He was Dollar General’s chief executive when the company went public in November 2009, and he joined Dollar Tree last March.
Dreiling served as executive vice president of marketing at Safeway from 2000 to 2003 and was president of Vons from 1998 to 2000. He began his career as a part-time clerk at a Safeway store in Kansas in 1969, per a bio posted on Dollar General’s website.
After leaving Safeway, Dreiling was executive vice president and chief operations officer for Longs Drug Stores. He became president, CEO and chairman of pharmacy chain Duane Reade in 2005.
Dollar Tree, which operates about 16,300 stores in 48 states and Canada under the Dollar Tree, Family Dollar and Dollar Tree Canada banners, has undergone a series of high-level personnel shifts during the past year. The changes include the arrival last November of four new C-suite executives and an activist-driven remake of the company’s board in March that included Dreiling’s appointment as executive chairman.
Dollar Tree noted that Witynski helped lead the company as it dealt with the pandemic and led its 2014 acquisition of Family Dollar. In addition, Witynski was CEO of the company when it decided to boost its price point from $1 to $1.25 in 2021 in response to fast-rising freight and supply chain costs.
During the third quarter of last year, which ended Oct. 29, 2022, Dollar Tree posted consolidated net sales of $6.9 billion, an 8.1% year-over-year increase. Comparable sales of consumable products, including food, beverages, snacks, cookies and candy, were ahead of the figure for discretionary goods during the period, Witynski said during an earnings call.
“Dollar Tree will continue to thrive, grow and win in the marketplace in this next chapter, and I’m thrilled for the opportunity to work with the extraordinary Dollar Tree team to advance our focus on delighting customers, associates and other key stakeholders,” Dreiling said in a statement.
In a filing about Dreiling’s appointment with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Dollar Tree said Witysnki will be eligible to receive separation payments as well as a cash bonus for fiscal year 2022. At the time he became CEO in 2020, Witysnki was awarded a pay package that included an annual base salary of $1.3 million as well as an annual incentive bonus worth just under $2 million, according to a 2020 regulatory filing by the company.