ANKENY, Iowa — Terry Handley is not planning to shake things up when he takes over as CEO of Casey’s General Stores Inc. on April 30. However, the long-time Casey’s executive does intend to push the chain of 1,900-plus convenience stores to even more innovation and improvement.
In an interview with Convenience Store News, discussing the leadership transition from current Casey’s Chairman and CEO Robert J. Myers who is retiring on April 30, Handley said he believes one of the keys to the c-store retailer’s success during Myers’ tenure as chief executive has been the commitment to a strong five-year strategic plan.
“A five-year strategic plan is shared with our board of directors every year and has proven quite beneficial as witnessed by the company’s growth and the current stock price,” Handley said. “We are on the right path and everyone associated with the company is excited about the future. I fully intend to maintain our present course into the near future.”
Handley is currently Casey’s president and chief operating officer. He’s worked for the Ankeny-based company for the past 34 years and served in many other roles, including director of marketing, store operations regional manager, vice president of foodservice and senior vice president of operations.
Handley told CSNews he has known Myers since he first arrived at Casey’s more than 25 years ago, and the two have worked together directly over the past 13 years. He praised his guidance.
“Bob has always been a strong advocate of leadership and recognizing within people those qualities necessary to be an effective leader. Bob promotes the empowerment of leaders taking responsibility for their decisions in the best interest of the company,” Handley said. “His enthusiasm and pride for Casey’s is genuine and he shares that energy with everyone.”
As for the legacy he hopes to leave, Handley responded: “I will leave that for others to decide once my career is complete. I am blessed to be a part of this great organization and to have worked beside so many wonderful people. I only wish to be a good steward during my tenure as CEO and continue the good work already accomplished. While Casey’s is recognized as being one of the best in our industry, we will continue to strive toward innovation and improvement.”
Myers will continue to serve on Casey’s board following his retirement.
Although Myers told CSNews he certainly didn’t pick his retirement date based on the performance of the company, he says it’s nice to be able to exit when things are good.
“I also fully recognize that not one individual is responsible for the great performance of this company. This is a collective effort,” he emphasized. “There are gifted individuals here that all have the same ideology regarding where we want to take the company, what we want to do and how we want to do it. I’m fully confident our success will continue.”
Casey’s operated 1,911 convenience stores across the Midwest as of Jan. 31.