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Wedge resigns as BJ’s top exec

Natick,Mass.-- Mike Wedge today announced his resignation as president and ceo of BJ's Wholesale Club. Herb Zarkin, chairman of the board of directors, was named interim ceo, while the board conducts a search for a successor.

In a joint statement, Wedge and Zarkin said, "While the company has made great strides in its efforts to improve general merchandise sales and customer traffic, overall progress has not come as quickly as we had hoped and expected. We agree that the company's leadership team will benefit from a fresh perspective at this time."

Zarkin said that Wedge’s “valuable contributions have helped the company become a 171-club chain with sales of $8 billion. We wish him well in the future."

Wedge was associated with BJ’s for 18 years. In 1997 Wedge was named evp, sales operations of BJ’s, then a division of Waban Inc. He was named president, ceo and director of BJ's in September 2002.

With more than twice the usual trading volume on Wall Street, shares of BJ’s were up 8% near $32.00 at mid-day, the highest price since April, and near the 52-week high of $33.07.

The company’s third-quarter report, released earlier this month, showed net income for the first nine months of $60.2 million, down 21.7% from $76.9 million for the same period one year ago. Sales year-to-date were $5.9 billion, up 4.9% from $5.7 billion, and comparable club sales grew by 1.3%.

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