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Thrifty Drug CEO Resigns; Seigel Will Replace Him

TIMES STAFF WRITER

Bill Yingling, who ushered in structural and marketing changes at Thrifty Drug Stores, has resigned as chairman and chief executive of Thrifty Corp., the Los Angeles-based parent of the drugstore chain, the company said Monday.

Thrifty President Daniel Seigel succeeds Yingling as chief executive and retains his position as president. Seigel joined Thrifty in 1990. The company’s board of directors has not yet named a new chair.

Yingling, who resigned Friday, was named head of Thrifty in August, 1991, and was given the task of reversing the fortunes of the financially troubled chain. At the time, Thrifty was owned by Los Angeles-based Pacific Enterprises, which also owns Southern California Gas Co.

Thrifty Corp. said in a statement Monday that Yingling made the discount chain more competitive during his tenure.

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“We have had tremendous success over the last year putting Thrifty on a winning track, including Thrifty’s financial performance,” Seigel said. “Most of the excellent programs Bill Yingling initiated . . . will continue.”

Thrifty suffered a big loss in 1991 and had difficulty competing against discount giants such as Wal-Mart and Kmart, according to industry analysts.

Thrifty is now a private company and does not release its earnings. But Yingling, in an interview in September, said the company had reduced its debt and boosted its monthly sales.

Yingling, who was retained as Thrifty’s top executive after Los Angeles investors Leonard Green & Partners acquired the chain from Pacific Enterprises in May, 1992, decided to seek other challenges after developing a plan designed to overhaul the company’s stores and image, the company said.

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Yingling initiated a $20-million remodeling program for the company’s 552 stores, which are in California, Nevada and Arizona. Most of the stores in the chain have already undergone the face lift. The plan also established new employee training to make store personnel more responsive to the needs of customers.


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