Shopko Optical Announces Russ Steinhorst as CEO

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GREEN BAY, Wis.—Shopko Optical, which was formed in May with the backing of private investment firm Monarch Alternative Capital, has named Russ Steinhorst as its chief executive officer, according to an announcement this week. He succeeds interim chief executive officer Jim Eisen, who had held the role since the bankruptcy court approved Monarch’s bid to acquire Shopko Optical in bankruptcy court, as VMAIL reported. According to the announcement, there are 80 Shopko Optical locations “in the process of opening or relocating to convenient areas by the end of 2019,” and the company expects “further growth … in 2020 and beyond.”

Steinhorst joined Shopko Stores Operating Co., the legacy department store chain that previously operated Shopko Optical, in January 2009 as vice president, controller and subsequently held the positions of senior vice president, finance; chief financial officer, and most recently, chief executive officer.

“Russ was a natural selection for this role,” Ian Glastein, chairman of Shopko Optical and a principal of Monarch Alternative Capital, said in the announcement. “He brings a wealth of experience that includes a deep understanding of the business, industry and the markets in which we operate. We’re confident that under his leadership, Shopko Optical will continue to flourish. We are also grateful to Jim Eisen for his commitment to the company as interim CEO over the last six months.”

Eisen has assumed the role of chief transition officer until Nov. 30 and will remain on the board of Shopko Optical thereafter, according to the announcement. “Russ offers the continuity our organization needs as it maintains the exceptional eyecare services our optical patients and customers have come to know,” Eisen added.

“It’s a privilege to lead Shopko Optical in this exciting time of growth,” Steinhorst said. “All of us are thrilled to have the opportunity to renew our commitment to the communities we have served for over 40 years. I continue to be impressed by the outstanding care our optometrists and optical center teams provide and am excited to continue to connect them to our loyal patients and customers.”

Earlier in his career, Steinhorst served as chief financial officer at Hudson Sharp Machine Co. and O’Sullivan Industries. He also worked for Newell Rubbermaid, where he held a variety of positions in financial management, planning and analysis, and accounting.