Fred's (FRED) Announces CEO Succession

August 30, 2016 7:44 AM EDT

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Fred's Inc. (NASDAQ: FRED) announced that Chief Executive Officer Jerry A. Shore will retire from the Company in February 2017. The Board of Directors is pleased to name Michael K. Bloom Chief Executive Officer, effective immediately. Bloom, who joined Fred's as President and Chief Operating Officer in January 2015, has worked closely with Shore on building a strong management team to ensure a smooth and effective transition.

Commenting on the announcement, Thomas H. Tashjian, Chairman of the Board of Directors, said, "Jerry and Mike have worked side by side for nearly two years; we are fortunate to have had Jerry's successor in place for this transition. With more than 30 years of experience in small-box retail, throughout merchandising, marketing, supply chain and store operations, Mike has proven himself as a strategic, innovative and effective leader. As our President and Chief Operating Officer, Mike has been the architect of the transformation taking place in our front store. Our Board and the Company's entire management team are enthusiastic and confident about the capabilities and vision that Mike brings to the CEO position."

Mike Bloom added: "I am honored and humbled to be given the opportunity to lead this great organization and talented team through this exciting time. I am confident that the strategies we are laying out and the investments we are making will further evolve this unique business model – as a regional provider of healthcare services and value merchandise in the markets that we serve – and will position us to realize long-term sustainable growth."

"For 16 years, Jerry Shore has shown tremendous dedication to this Company and has worked tirelessly for the benefit of its stakeholders," Tashjian continued. "His financial and operational leadership has been exceptional, his contributions numerous, and his passion for improving Fred's relentless. We are very grateful for his time here at Fred's and are pleased that the Company will still benefit from his insight and experience as he works closely with Mike through year-end and as he continues to serve on the Board of Directors following retirement."

Jerry Shore added: "I am very grateful for the time I have spent at Fred's, the fine people I have come to know as colleagues, and the opportunities I have had to join with others in moving this company forward. Now, knowing that the leadership of Fred's passes to the capable hands of Mike Bloom, I look forward to spending more time with my family and enjoying the many other interests that never seemed to fit into my hectic schedule."

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