ASHEVILLE, N.C. – Robert Ingle, 77, Ingles Markets Incorporated founder and CEO, died on March 6. He founded the company in 1965 and served as chairman of the board from 1965 until 2004; thereafter, he served as a director. Ingle also served as CEO since 1965 and served as president from 1965 until 1982.

His son, Robert Ingle II, 42, was elected by the company’s board of directors to succeed his father as CEO. He has been a member of the board of directors since February 1997 and has served as chairman of the board since May 2004. Since 1985, he has been employed by the company in a variety of positions.

Ingles Markets, Incorporated is a leading supermarket chain with stores in six southeastern states. Based in Asheville, N.C., the company operates 203 supermarkets.