LUBBOCK, Texas — United Supermarkets CEO Robert Taylor announced his retirement this morning, the company set to replace him with United Family President Sidney Hopper.
Taylor has spent 51 years in the industry and said while he has loved the years he has spent with United, he is excited to spend a little more time with his family.
“It wasn’t an easy decision–it’s something I have contemplated for a little while. I’ve always said that when you are ready to retire for a position you usually know it,” said Taylor.
Taylor has been with United for 13 years and CEO for 11. Under his leadership, the company grew to 96 total stores, more than double the number united had when Taylor started.
“A lot of people ask me how does United, how do they do what they do, how do you get the people to do what they do in the stores. They always want a playbook or a script, and there’s not one.
“But I think the secret sauce is to communicate with people, that has been difficult in pandemic times, by the way, and show people multitudes of respect. You have to respect everybody whatever the position they are in with the company,” said Taylor.
While Taylor will be retiring, he is not leaving for good. He will be shifting into a new advisory role within the company heading the United Food and Beverage Services. This is United’s newest venture that runs the Rave On restaurant in Buddy Holly Hall as well as provides banquet and concession services.
“That’s going to be fun to stay really, really close to that along with some other things I’m going to do in special projects, so I’m not going anywhere, but I’m definitely going to change the pace a little bit,” said Taylor.
United Family President Sidney Hopper is set to take on CEO duties next.
“I know it’s not me that’s going to be the one doing everything to lead this company forward. We have 18,000 team members who are getting up and helping us be successful in whatever market we are in, and that’s going to be the key. I’m excited to get going,” said Hopper.
Taylor said he is thankful to have been able to work all these years for a company he loves.
“There isn’t anything greater than to end your work career with a group of people you think so much of,” said Taylor
Hopper will officially take on the duties of CEO, and Taylor will officially retire on March 1.