Save Mart executive steps down

Save Mart President and Chief Operating Officer Bob Spengler is retiring from those roles today, after 22 years with the Modesto-based grocery store chain.

After initially retiring in 2005 as company president, Spengler rejoined the company in 2006 to lead Save Mart's acquisition of 130 Albertsons stores in Northern California and Nevada.

"I'm very, very confident with the management team that's in place now," said Spengler, 67, noting that Save Mart's top executives have nearly 80 years of experience with the company. "New ideas will flow, and new ideas lead to better things. And I feel this is a company on the cusp of being a far greater success than it is now."

Spengler, a Modesto resident, will not be replaced, according to a Save Mart spokeswoman. Instead, Steve Junqueiro, executive vice president, Ron Riesenbeck, senior vice president and chief financial officer, and Mike Silveira, senior vice president of human resources and law, will fulfill his duties.

They will report to Save Mart CEO Bob Piccinini, whose father and uncle founded Save Mart.

"When the decision was being made to more than double the company, I knew that to get it done right Bob needed to be involved," Piccinini said in a press release. "Fortunately, he agreed, but naturally with the stipulation that it would be a short-term deal."

During Spengler's previous tenure with Save Mart, he oversaw Food Maxx, the company's warehouse-style stores.

Food Maxx went from 15 stores to 40 under Spengler's leadership from 1993 to 2003, according to a Save Mart press release. He was appointed vice president of the Food Maxx division in 1997.

Before joining Save Mart in 1984, Spengler operated Dairyland Market in Stanislaus and Merced counties, his own store in Susanville, and started in grocery stores with Foremost in 1958.

Spengler said he will use his retirement to spend more time skiing and motorcycling, and spending time with friends and family, particularly at a cabin he has in Mi-Wuk Village.

He also said he'd continue to be a phone call away for Save Mart executives looking for guidance or a sympathetic ear.

Save Mart, founded in 1952, operates 248 stores in California and Nevada, including stores under the Food Maxx and Lucky names.

Bee staff writer Ben van der Meer can be reached at or 578-2331.