BJ's CEO Lee Delaney Dies Unexpectedly — Where Will His Net Worth Go?

A "brilliant and humble leader" of BJ's Wholesale Club, Lee Delaney has passed away. Who inherits his wealth?

Rachel Curry - Author

Apr. 9 2021, Updated 12:53 p.m. ET

Joining the team in 2016, Lee Delaney held numerous roles at BJ's Wholesale Club (NYSE:BJ), the most notable of which are president and CEO. BJ's has announced Delaney's unexpected death, the effects of which have rippled throughout the grocery and wholesale industries.

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Delaney's career accumulated great success, so he naturally amassed a sizable net worth to go along. 

Lee Delaney's long career experience helped him become BJ's CEO

Prior to hopping on board at BJ's, Delaney spent 20 years as a partner for Bain & Company in Boston. This is where he honed his skill of corporate strategy, market entry plans, acquisitions, and cost saving programs. This expertise translated well for a role at BJ's, where he managed to help the company expand and grow, even as a global pandemic rattled businesses everywhere.

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BJ's went public on June 28, 2018, and Delaney was there every step of the way. At the time, the company raised $637.5 million in net proceeds from 37.5 million shares sold.

Since the IPO, BJ shares have grown at a healthy pace, ultimately amassing 87.65 percent returns by Delaney's death. If anything, this just clarifies that Delaney has put BJ's in a prosperous position, which is exactly what he came to do. 

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Delaney was beloved, and his death was unexpected

In a public statement on Friday morning, BJ's announced that Delaney died unexpectedly. Christopher Baldwin, executive chairman of the board of directors, wrote, "We are shocked and profoundly saddened by the passing of Lee Delaney. Lee was a brilliant and humble leader who cared deeply for his colleagues, his family and his community."

Baldwin went on to say, "We will honor his legacy and remember the extraordinary impact he had on so many." It's tough to say what this means for BJ's so soon after Delaney's untimely passing. 

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Lee Delaney's net worth was in the millions

Delaney was worth at least $13.2 million in Mar. 2020. It's highly possible this could have changed in the past year, especially since BJ's financial health has skyrocketed during the pandemic. By the end of Q3 of fiscal year 2020, BJ's revenue grew 200 percent YoY. 

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Much of Delaney's wealth came from his stake in BJ's. Just last month, he said in a conference call, "From a financial perspective, we delivered industry-leading results this past year." 

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Delaney's wife and children will inherit his wealth

According to BJ's Wholesale Club, Delaney was survived by his wife and two children. The cause for death remains unknown. He was 49 years old.

Now that the CEO post is empty, BJ's is left with the task of determining a new CEO. However, the executive team will take time to grieve, leaving chief financial officer Bob Eddy to take his place in the interim. Out of respect for their investors, Baldwin says, "We expect to announce permanent changes to our leadership within a reasonably short timeframe, aided by our prior succession planning."


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