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David Sobey speaks during an event at Saint Mary's University, in Halifax, on March 21, 2019.Andrew Vaughan/The Canadian Press

David Sobey, a former chief executive and chair of the Sobeys Inc. grocery store chain, has died. He was 92 years old.

Empire Co. Ltd., the parent company of Sobeys, says he helped grow the regional player built by his father into a national food retailing and distribution business.

Empire chief executive Michael Medline called Sobey an incredible retailer, business leader and mentor.

Sobey served as vice-chair and CEO of Sobeys from 1982 to 1986 and as chair and CEO from 1986 to 1995.

He was chair from 1995 until 2001 when he retired and was appointed chair emeritus of Sobeys.

Sobey retired from the Empire board of directors in 2015.

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