Richard ("Rick") W. Dreiling joined Dollar General in January 2008 as CEO, and was named chairman of the board in December 2008. He spearheaded the company's re-emergence as a public company through a successful Initial Public Offering on the NYSE November 13, 2009. Prior to coming to Dollar General, Dreiling had been the chairman and CEO of Duane Reade Holdings, Inc. Before that, Dreiling served as executive vice president and chief operating officer of Longs Drug Stores Corporation, a chain of retail drug stores on the West Coast and Hawaii, starting there in 2003. Before that, he was executive vice president of marketing, manufacturing and distribution of Safeway, Inc., a food and drug retailer. Earlier still, he served as president of Vons, a Southern California food and drug division of Safeway, Inc.
Dreiling earned a bachelor's degree in industrial relations from Rockhurst University in Missouri. He began his career in 1969 as a part-time clerk with Safeway, Inc. in Kansas and he worked his way through the retail ranks before being promoted in 1998 to president of Vons.
Dreiling serves on the board of the Retail Industry Leaders Association and the Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt. Dreiling was a finalist in Ernst & Young's 2007 Entrepreneur of the Year Awards for the Metro New York area. In October 2007, Dreiling received the Jacob K. Javits Lifetime Achievement Award in recognition of his efforts to raise awareness for The ALS Association and support its work to find a cure for the disease. He was also a recipient of the 2006 Human Rights Award given by the Jewish Labor Committee in recognition of his efforts to promote the shared social justice agenda between the AJC and the trade union movement. He was honored again in October 2006 as their "Person of the Year."