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Alex Miller to succeed Brian Hannasch as Couche-Tard CEO

Hannasch to retire on Sept. 6 after a decade at helm of convenience store, fuels sector giant

Alex Miller, left, is to succeed Brian Hannasch as president and CEO of Alimentation Couche-Tard. (Courtesy Couche-Tard)
Alex Miller, left, is to succeed Brian Hannasch as president and CEO of Alimentation Couche-Tard. (Courtesy Couche-Tard)

Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc. (ATD-T) is promoting chief operating officer Alex Miller to become its president and CEO, and announced the pending retirement of Brian Hannasch effective Sept. 6.

Hannasch has led the global convenience store, fuelling and real estate owner and operator since taking on the president and CEO positions in 2014. Hannasch will also retire from his board position, but will remain as a special advisor to both Miller and to Alain Bouchard, the founder and executive chair of Couche-Tard’s board.

"On behalf of the board of directors of Couche-Tard, I want to congratulate Alex Miller on his appointment to be our next leader," Bouchard said in the announcement Wednesday morning. "Couche-Tard has only had two CEOs during its almost 45-year history, and we take this appointment extremely seriously.  

“The board and I have been planning for an orderly and seamless succession for several years, and we have carefully assessed the process and possible candidates. It is important to us that our next CEO comes from within the business and fully embraces our values, culture and growth-oriented mindset."

Miller promoted from COO's role

Miller brings over 25 years of industry experience to the position. He has spent 13 years with Couche-Tard and was named the company’s chief operating officer about 18 months ago.

"Over the last year and a half, Alex has been Couche-Tard's chief operating officer and has been working closely with Brian Hannasch and the board of directors on transitioning to a future CEO position," Bouchard said. "Prior to that, Alex was our executive vice-president, North America operations and senior vice-president, commercial optimization, leading our global fuel and real estate businesses.  

Miller “has proven himself to be an outstanding leader of the operational, financial, and people aspects of the business," Bouchard said.

Prior to joining Couche-Tard, he was with BP Plc. for 16 years in a variety of operational, supply, business development and strategy roles in the U.S. and Europe. Miller holds a bachelor’s degree in business management from Southern Illinois University.

"I am humbled and honoured by this appointment, and I want to thank Alain, Brian and the entire board of directors for their confidence," Miller said in the announcement. "Working with Couche-Tard – its board of directors, leadership, shareholders, team members and customers – has been the highlight of my career.  

“I firmly believe that we are just at the beginning of our journey to become the world's preferred destination for convenience and mobility, and I have full faith that with our engaged people and culture and long-term strategic plan, we will continue our incredible growth trajectory as we take market share and create lasting value."

Hannasch's career and achievements

Hannasch joined the company in 2001 and has served in a variety of senior positions, culminating in his own transition from chief operating officer (2010 to 2014) to president and CEO.

Previously, Hannasch was vice-president of operations for Bigfoot Food Stores LLC, a 225-unit convenience store chain in the U.S. Midwest acquired by Alimentation Couche‑Tard in 2001.

"Over the past 10 years, Brian Hannasch has been a truly phenomenal CEO for Couche-Tard," Bouchard said in the announcement. "During his tenure, he has led the company in stunning growth, including a 400 per cent increase in the company's share price and the acquisitions of nearly 7,800 stores, the successful completion of our ambitious Double Again strategy, and the launch of our new five-year plan.  

“Brian has also successfully negotiated and led the company through game-changing and well-executed transactions, which is a rare feat in many industries."

Hannasch was inducted into the Convenience Store News Hall of Fame in 2022, was named 2021 Retail Leader of the Year by Winsight Media, and 2019 Retailer Executive of the Year by Convenience Store News’ panel of c-store industry leaders. 

He was also named CEO of the year by The Globe and Mail in 2016 and has been a member of the board of directors of the Association for Convenience & Fuel Retailing (NACS) since 2016 and a member of the board of directors of AutoZone, Inc. since February 2022.

Hannasch lives in Columbus, Ind. He has a master of business administration in marketing and finance from the University of Chicago and a bachelor of arts in finance from Iowa State University.

"It has been the honor of a lifetime to be Couche-Tard's CEO for the past 10 years and a leader of this company for the past 25," Hannasch said in the announcement. "I am so proud of the lasting value that we have created and the commitment and passion of our team members to serving our customers and communities. 

“I know Couche-Tard is in great hands with Alex as he has been one of my closest business partners for well over a decade, and we are working as one team during this transition period."

Couche-Tard operates in 31 countries

Based in Laval in Greater Montreal, Couche-Tard has holdings and interests in 31 countries and territories, with more than 16,700 stores, of which approximately 13,100 offer road transportation fuel. 

With its Couche-Tard and Circle K banners, it is one of the largest independent convenience store operators in the United States and a major player in the convenience store industry and road transportation fuel retail sector in Canada, Scandinavia, the Baltics, Belgium and Ireland. 

It also has a presence in Luxembourg, Germany, the Netherlands, Poland, as well as in Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China.

Approximately 149,000 people are employed throughout its network.

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