Hy-Vee Inc. named a new chairman and CEO on Thursday after Ric Jurgens stepped down from the position after 43 years with the company.

Randy Edeker, previously the president and chief operating officer, took over Jurgens' position on Thursday and became only the fourth person in the 82-year history of the company to hold the title of CEO, according to a press release.

Jurgens announced his retirement in December at a stockholders' meeting and he also announced his intention to nominate Edeker as CEO.

Edeker has been at Hy-Vee for 30 years and has worked his way up from a part-time employee at a store in Chariton to CEO. In 1993, Edeker started directing his first store in Columbus, Neb., and was named the company's store manager of the year after his first year in that position. 

"I am both honored and humbled to follow in the footsteps of Hy-Vee's great leaders, including the man who has caringly mentored me for the past eight years, Ric Jurgens."   

Along with his work at Hy-Vee, Edeker also serves on the board of Character Counts, Iowa.