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Gelson’s promotes president to CEO in leadership transition

john bagan gelson's
John Bagan, president and CEO of Gelson’s.

ENCINO, Calif., Jan. 30, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — Gelson’s BB #:113119 has promoted John Bagan to President & CEO following the departure of Rob McDougall, who has retired from Gelson’s after 15 years with the Southern California-based brand.

The new leadership position marks Bagan’s third promotion in two years, most recently moving from COO into the role of president in July 2022.

As President & CEO, Bagan will assume greater responsibility for the company’s overall vision, business and growth strategy, as well as managing relationships with the Board of Directors and parent company Pan Pacific International Holdings (PPIH).

Bagan joined Gelson’s as Chief Merchandising Officer in 2016 following high-level Merchandising and Supply Chain roles at Guitar Center, Albertson’s and Target. He began his career as a business analyst for Morgan Stanley before receiving his MBA in Marketing from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management.

Recognized as a progressive leader in the grocery industry, Rob McDougall has spent nearly five decades in the grocery business. Joining Gelson’s in 2007 and rising to the CEO role in 2014, he sought to place a greater emphasis on fresh foods, along with organic and local products, recognizing the changing habits of Southern California shoppers.

During his tenure, he grew the chain from 18 to 27 locations, including opening three locations in San Diego in 2016. His approach included customizing each Gelson’s to the needs of its community, while introducing new in-store social areas like wine bars and branded products like Gelson’s wines.

Gelson’s has concurrently promoted Rich Gillmore to Vice President of Center Store and Sean Saenz to Vice President Fresh Foods, while announcing key title changes to reflect additional responsibilities:

  • Clare Bogle is now Chief Financial and Administrative Officer with responsibilities for Finance, Accounting, Accounts Payable, Analytics, Payroll, Risk Management, Legal, and Benefits
  • Ron Johnson is now Chief Information and Supply Chain Officer with responsibilities for IT, Supply Chain, and PPIH synergies
  • Tom Frattali is now SVP of Group Synergies, leading Gelson’s efforts in group purchasing, supply chain efficiencies and private label expansion with the parent company
  • Paul Kneeland is now SVP of Merchandising and Sales with responsibilities for Center Store and Fresh Foods Merchandising
  • Tim Mahoney is now SVP of Operations, with responsibilities for Store Operations, Pharmacies, Construction and Maintenance, and Loss Prevention
  • Yvonne Manganaro is now SVP of Customer and Team Experience with responsibilities for Marketing, Human Resources, Team Development, Public Affairs and Real Estate

About Gelson’s

Gelson’s operates 27 premium food markets in Southern California. Each Gelson’s Market features the amenities of full-service fresh Produce, Meat, Seafood, Prepared Foods, Bakery, and Floral departments, along with Grocery departments stocked with the best local, specialty and organic products alongside national brand favorites. Gelson’s high standards for freshness and quality, unsurpassed service, and exceptionally clean and convenient stores define the ultimate food experience. With a 70 plus-year legacy, Gelson’s in-house experts know Southern California’s lifestyle and how to deliver the curated offerings their customers want including hand-selected produce, the best and freshest cuts of meat and seafood, and Chef-prepared signature recipes. Find out why Life Tastes Better Here® at