Dollar General's Dreiling to step down as CEO, chairman

Veteran executive has led company since 2008

Dollar General Corp. announced today that Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Rick Dreiling, 60, has informed the board of directors he will retire, effective either May 30, 2015, or upon the appointment of a successor.

In a release, the Goodlettsville-based company said Dreiling has agreed to serve as chairman during a transition period following the appointment of a new CEO.

The board has begun conducting a search for Dreiling’s replacement.

Dreiling has served as CEO since January 2008 and was named chairman of the board in December of that year. Under his leadership, the company's annual sales have increased more than 80 percent to $17.5 billion in 2013 and store count has increased by 38 percent to more than 11,000 stores in 40 states.

"Dollar General is a great company because of our people and our mission of Serving Others,” Dreiling said in the release. “I am extremely proud of Dollar General's track record of success over the past six years, and I am honored to have had the opportunity to lead such an experienced and talented team. Dollar General is in a strong position today, and I'm confident it has excellent prospects for the future. After considerable reflection, I am at a point where it is appropriate to begin to plan for my retirement. I plan to work with the Board of Directors on recruiting and mentoring a new CEO."

In March, Dreiling sold more than 320,000 DG shares (read here), grossing more than $18.7 million and, in the process, trimming his stake in the company by 74 percent. Dreiling, whose 2013 salary was almost $1.3 million, held about $6.2 million worth of DG shares following the transaction.

Of note, Nashville Post named Dreiling CEO of the Year for its July/August magazine.

Shares of Dollar General stock (Ticker: DG) were down $4.34 (7 percent) in mid-morning trading.