May 19, 2020

Who is Fred's Inc.'s new CEO?

pharmaceutical
Retail
Fred's Inc
Mike Bloom
Sumit Modi
2 min
Who is Fred's Inc.'s new CEO?

Fred’s Inc. announced yesterday that CEO Jerry A. Shore would be stepping down to be replaced by Michael K. Bloom – known commonly as Mike Bloom.

 

Shore will leave the discount retailer in February 2017. Bloom has been Fred’s President and COO since January 2015, and he and Shore have worked closely together to build the strongest possible management team and ensure that the transition is as smooth as possible.

Bloom stated: “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 service and value merchandise in the markets that we serve – and will position us to realize long-term sustainable growth.”

So who is Mike Bloom? He has over 30 years of experience in the world of small-box general merchandising, supply chain management, and store operations. Bloom began an over 20 year career with CVS Caremark Corporation in 1991, covering a wide range of professional positions – including Senior VP of Merchandising, Marketing, Advertising and Supply Chain – before most famously serving as President and COO of Family Dollar Stores.

Bloom even appeared on Undercover Boss during this time, and amusingly, he was fired due to a safety issue. He left the company in 2014, and then began at Fred’s, where he swiftly became close with Shore, to the extent that he assumes the mantle of CEO early next year.

Shore said of the handover: “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 seem to fit into my hectic schedule.”

 

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May 12, 2021

How innovation is transforming government

United States Air Force
Leidos
Bizclik Editor
3 min
Leidos is a global leader in the development and application of technology to solve their customers’ most demanding challenges.

According to Washington Technology’s Top 100 list, Leidos is the largest IT provider to the government. But as Lieutenant General William J. Bender explains, “that barely scratches the surface” of the company’s portfolio and drive for innovation.

Bender, who spent three and a half decades in the military, including a stint as the U.S. Air Force’s Chief Information Officer (CIO), has seen action in the field and in technology during that time, and it runs in the family. Bender’s son is an F-16 instructor pilot. So it stands to reason Bender Senior intends to ensure a thriving technological base for the U.S. Air Force. “What we’re really doing here is transforming the federal government from the industrial age into the information age and doing it hand-in-hand with industry,” he says.

The significant changes that have taken place in the wider technology world are precisely the capabilities Leidos is trying to pilot the U.S. Air Force through. It boils down to developing cyberspace as a new domain of battle, globally connected and constantly challenged by the threat of cybersecurity attacks.

“We recognize the importance of the U.S. Air Force’s missions,” says Bender, “and making sure they achieve those missions. We sit side-by-side with the air combat command, intelligence surveillance, and reconnaissance infrastructure across the Air Force. There are multiple large programs where the Air Force is partnering with Leidos to ensure their mission is successfully accomplished 24/7/365. In this company, we’re all in on making sure there’s no drop in capability.”

That partnership relies on a shared understanding of delivering successful national security outcomes, really understanding the mission at hand, and Leidos’ long-standing relationship of over 50 years with the federal government.

To look at where technology is going, Bender thinks it is important to look back at the last 10 to 15 years. “What we’ve seen is a complete shift in how technology gets developed,” he says. “It used to be that the government invested aggressively in research and development, and some of those technologies, once they were launched in a military context, would find their way into the commercial space. That has shifted almost a hundred percent now, where the bulk of the research and development dollars and the development of tech-explicit technologies takes place in the commercial sector.”

“There’s a long-standing desire to adopt commercial technology into defense applications, but it’s had a hard time crossing the ‘valley of death’ [government slang for commercial technologies and partnerships that fail to effectively transition into government missions]. Increasingly we’re able to do that. We need to look at open architectures and open systems for a true plug-and-play capability. Instead of buying it now and trying to guess what it’s going to be used for 12 years from now, it should be evolving iteratively.”

 

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