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Alimentation Couche-Tard Announces Leadership Changes

Chief Operating Officer Alex Miller will take the reins from President and CEO Brian Hannasch in September.
Melissa Kress
Brian Hannasch and Alex Miller at Couche-Tard
Brian Hannasch (L) will hand the CEO reins to Alex Miller in September.

LAVAL, Quebec — After 25 years with Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc., President and CEO Brian Hannasch is retiring. Upon his retirement, Alex Miller, current chief operating officer (COO), will step into the lead role at the company.

Hannasch is not completing stepping away from the company; he will remain as a special advisor to Miller and Alain Bouchard, founder and executive chairman of Couche-Tard's board of directors. The changes take effect Sept. 6.

[Read more: Playing the Long Game]

"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. "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.  

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"It is important to us that our next CEO comes from within the business and fully embraces our values, culture and growth-oriented mindset. For those reasons, we have the utmost confidence that Alex is the best person to be our next president and CEO," he added.

According to Bouchard, Miller has been working with Hannasch and the board on transitioning to a future chief executive role for the past year and half. Before taking on the COO role, Miller was executive vice president, North America Operations and senior vice president, Commercial Optimization, leading Couche-Tard's global fuel and real estate businesses.  

"I am humbled and honored by this appointment, and I want to thank Alain, Brian and the entire board of directors for their confidence," Miller said. "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 began his journey in the convenience channel after working in finance and Big Oil, eventually joining Johnson Oil Co. Inc. He became a part of the Couche-Tard family after the Laval-based company acquired 225 Bigfoot stores from Johnson Oil Co. in 2001. That move marked Couche-Tard's entry into the United States. 

"Over the past 10 years, Brian Hannasch has been a truly phenomenal CEO for Couche-Tard," Bouchard said. "During his tenure, he has led the company in stunning growth, including a 400% 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. Perhaps most important to me, even as we have grown exponentially, he has fostered and deepened Couche-Tard's special culture," he added. "Brian always does the right thing for our people and customers, and he has my and the board of directors' deepest gratitude for all he has accomplished. We are truly pleased that he agreed to stay on as a special advisor."

Hannasch was inducted into the Convenience Store News Hall of Fame in 2022. 

"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. "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. 

"I want to thank Alain and the board of directors for their enduring support and for the opportunity to continue serving Couche-Tard in a special advisory capacity," he added.

Couche-Tard is a global leader in convenience and mobility, operating in 31 countries and territories, with more than 16,700 stores, of which approximately 13,100 offer road transportation fuel. With its well-known Couche-Tard and Circle K banners, it is one of the largest independent convenience store operators in the United States, and it is a leader in the convenience store industry and road transportation fuel retail in Canada, Scandinavia, the Baltics, Belgium, as well as in Ireland. It also has an important presence in Luxembourg, Germany, the Netherlands, Poland, as well as in Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China. 

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