BJ's Wholesale Club CEO Lee Delaney Dies Unexpectedly at 49: 'A Brilliant and Humble Leader'

Lee Delaney, BJ's Wholesale Club President and CEO, has died, according to his company. He was 49.

The warehouse club chain made the announcement on Friday, explaining that Delaney unexpectedly died "due to presumed natural causes" on Thursday.

"We are shocked and profoundly saddened by the passing of Lee Delaney," Christopher J. Baldwin, an Executive Chairman of BJ's Board of Directors, said in a statement. "Lee was a brilliant and humble leader who cared deeply for his colleagues, his family and his community."

"We extend our most heartfelt condolences and sympathy to his family, especially his wife and two children," Baldwin continued. "We will honor his legacy and remember the extraordinary impact he had on so many. Our thoughts are with them during this difficult time."

Delaney first joined BJ's Wholesale Club in 2016 as the Chief Commercial Officer, according to Bloomberg.

The Westborough, Massachusetts-based company is currently the "leading operator of membership warehouse clubs in the Eastern United States," with 221 clubs and 151 BJ's Gas locations across 17 states, according to BJ's press release.

In 2019, Delaney was promoted to president before becoming CEO of the warehouse giant early last year, Bloomberg reported.

Prior to his time at BJ's, Delaney worked as a partner for the management consultancy company Bain & Co. in Boston, according to Bloomberg.

In the wake of Delaney's passing, BJ's Wholesale Club said Bob Eddy, the Executive Vice President and Chief Administrative and Financial Officer, will take over as Interim CEO.

"Bob partnered closely with Lee and has played an integral role in transforming and growing BJ's Wholesale Club," Baldwin explained. "We have the utmost confidence in Bob's leadership and his deep knowledge of the business. We expect to announce permanent changes to our leadership within a reasonably short timeframe, aided by our prior succession planning."

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