PORTLAND - Sometimes you don't need to look very far to find what you're searching for.
That's the case at Fred Meyer Stores. When the president was promoted to an executive post at Kroger headquarters in Cincinnati, his replacement wasn't hard to find.
He was just a few offices away, working hard as he has been for forty years, preparing for the job of a lifetime. His name is Lynn Gust and Fred Meyer is the only company he's ever worked for.
"I do want to lead this company," he said. "I believe I'm the one that can get us set up for the next 90 years."
Gust started as a bag boy in 1970 at $1.65 an hour. Now as president he'll oversee the 133 stores in Alaska, Idaho, Oregon and Washington.
Gust takes over at a time when there is more competition than ever for your shopping dollar.
Part of Gust's 100-day plan is to put more focus on price and customer service, staying true to the company's 90-year history in the Northwest.
"Someone asked me, 'What's the most important thing in the world, outside of your family?' It's this company," said Gust.
Gust says one of his top priorities as the new chief is to create an emotional connection between Fred Meyer and customers. He also hopes to find new ways to use the Internet for online shopping.
In addition, Fred Meyer will continue to expand and renovate, spending some $100 million to update stores in the next few years as it has for the past five.
Fred Meyer is the second largest private employer in Oregon, with more than 14,000 employees.