JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Laurence Appel, who joined Winn-Dixie Stores Inc. in 2002 and formerly served as general counsel, corporate secretary and senior vice president of human resources, has been named senior vice president of retail operations. Effective Jan. 5, Appel replaces Frank Eckstein, who has retired from his current role but will continue to serve in an advisory capacity until the end of fiscal year 2011. Appel reports to Peter Lynch, chairman, CEO and president.

“Larry has tremendous experience with Winn-Dixie and in retail in general, having worked at Winn-Dixie for nearly a decade and at Home Depot prior to that,” Lynch said. “I am confident he will make a very positive impact on the management of our stores as we continue to execute our strategic initiatives and lay the foundation for our future growth.”

Appel will be succeeded as general counsel by Timothy Williams, who joined Winn-Dixie in 2003 and formerly served as assistant general counsel; and as senior vice president of human resources by Anita Dahlstrom-Gutel, who joined the company almost two years ago and formerly served as vice president of corporate human resources and talent acquisition/management. Both report to Lynch.

Dan Portnoy, senior vice president and chief merchandising and marketing officer, has resigned from the company. His duties will be performed by Mary Kellmanson, group vice president of marketing; Matt Gutermuth, group vice president, non-perishables, pricing and corporate brands; James Smits, group vice president of perishables; and John Fegan, vice president of pharmacy. All four will report directly to Lynch.