Dollar General's Player Roster
Information and Administrative Services
With five years at the company, Ash is an old-timer among Dollar General senior executives. He spent a decade at fast-growing women's clothier Talbots, where he started projects in IBM point-of-sale and JDA Software merchandising systems. Not surprisingly, Dollar General now uses IBM and JDA technology. Ash must operate within Dollar General's philosophy that technology is a way to cut costs, not grow new business. His big challenge: Make sure servers and storage systems scale to keep up with company's hypergrowth.
Chairman and Chief Executive Officer
Had no retailing experience when he took over last year. But his diverse background in senior positions at shoemaker Reebok, pants maker Haggar and baker Sara Lee impressed retiring CEO Cal Turner Jr., son of the man who founded the company in 1955. Perdue spent one year as CEO at bankrupt Pillowtex and joined Dollar General just as it was restating its financial results and faced a probe from the Securities and Exchange Commission. A $10 million settlement resulted.
President, Chief Operating Officer
Joined in 2003 from the Safeway supermarket chain, where he ran supply operations and was named one of Fortune's 50 Most Powerful Black Executives. Holds economics and M.B.A. degrees from Harvard University; now overseeing a project with McKinsey to improve workflow at the stores.
Director, Merchandise Planning
Oversees team of four who figure out what's selling well where. Big initiative this year is "channel planning," which groups stores into clusters based on similar selling patterns. Dollar General plans to use that data to create "cluster-specific" store layouts.
Mark Rambus, Mike Koehn and 48 other store merchandisers
The muscle supporting Dollar General's aggressive new-store schedule. Once a site is built or remodeled, store merchandisers manage crews of 20 to 25 for tasks such as building shelves, stocking products, installing cash register computers and linking satellite networks. Most are single with a high tolerance for restaurant food.
Ethel Longway, Valerie Hallstrom and 6,928 other store managers.
Report to district managers and are judged by criteria such as how clean stores are, whether merchandise is pulled to the edge of shelves and how much in damaged goods is reported. Store managers are expected to work as many hours per week as it takes to keep a store profitable.
Senior Account Manager
Signed Dollar General to a 10-year, $40-million deal for a satellite network between stores and headquarters. Has consistently exceeded Dollar General's demand of 99.7% uptime. This year, Anders is adding an application to process bank and welfare debit cards.
Senior Account Manager Sprint
Responsible for a private long-distance phone system where employees dial a 4- or 7-digit extension to call any store or office in the company. The plan lets Dollar General avoid long-distance fees for interoffice calling and blocks personal long-distance calls by store employees. One effect: Voice-mail broadcasts are the main mode of communication between management and stores.