Albertsons, Supervalu Name New Leadership Personnel

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The wheels have begun turning even prior to the consummation of the Cerberus Capital Management-Supervalu two-part transaction. On February 21, Albertsons LLC (AB Acquisition, Inc.), the privately-held Boise, ID retailer, announced a new organizational structure to oversee the additional 877 Supervalu stores (Acme, Shaw’s/Star Markets, Jewel-Osco and Albertsons banners) it plans to acquire from Supervalu later this month (the deal is expected to be completed during the week of March 18).

Several former Albertsons executives will be rejoining the new and expanded Albertsons LLC organization, which was created in 2006 after Cerberus acquired most of the remaining stores from Albertsons that Supervalu didn’t purchase. Currently Albertsons LLC operates 192 stores in the Southeast and Southwest.

At Malvern, PA-based Acme Markets, Jim Perkins will become division president. Perkins, formerly vice president of operations for Albertsons Inc. and director of operations for Albertsons LLC’s Southern division, began his career at Albertsons in 1982. He is returning to the company after having held the role of regional vice president with Giant/Landover.

Shane Sampson, another recent Giant/Landover alumnus (he was senior VP-operations), will take the helm Shaw’s and Star Markets in New England. Sampson was formerly vice president of marketing and merchandising for the Albertsons LLC Southern division and started with Albertsons in 1983 and was a division president in the Intermountain and Florid adivisions of Albertson’s Inc.

At Jewel/Osco in theChicagomarket, William Emmons will become division president. Formerly Southern division president of Albertsons LLC, Emmons is returning to the company following his retirement in October 2010. He began his career at Albertsons in 1971.

At the Albertsons divisions, the division presidents will be: Dennis Bassler in the Northwest division (he is currently an Albertsons district manager and was formerly SVP-merchandising/marketing for Albertsons Inc.); Susan Morris in the Intermountain division (she is currently SVP-marketing/merchandising for the Southwest division); Wayne Denningham in the Southern California division (currently Southern division president); Mike Withers at the Southern division (currently SVP-marketing/merchandising for the Southern division); and Shane Dorcheus at the Southwest division (the same position he currently holds).

The current division presidents will remain in place until the transaction closes. They are: Keith Wyche at Acme Markets; Dan Sanders at Albertsons SoCal; Mike Clawson at Albertsons Intermountain; Brian Huff at Jewel-Osco and Mike Stigers at Shaw’s/Star Market.

According to the announcement, “Bob Butler, currently executive vice president of operations for Albertsons LLC, will become chief operating officer with responsibility for all Albertsons banner stores. The Albertsons divisions will be operated by Albertsons LLC. Justin Dye, currently chief strategy officer, will be named chief operating officer, with responsibilities for the Acme, Jewel, and Shaw’s/Star Markets banners, and the total company pharmacy operation, which will be operated by New Albertsons, Inc. (NAI).

“Albertsons LLC and NAI will both be operated by AB Acquisition Inc., which will be led by CEO Bob Miller. Rick Navarro, chief financial officer; Paul Rowan, general counsel; Andrew Scoggin, executive vice president of human resources and public affairs; and Mark Bates, chief information officer will oversee their respective functions at both Albertsons LLC and NAI.”

And just before presstime, Albertsons LLC announced that it has named three more executives to its management team, all with Albertsons roots. Daniel Salemi is the new president of the company’s pharmacy division; Jerry Callahan has been promoted to VP-produce merchandising; and Amy Kirby has been named VP-marketing, a new corporate position.

Salemi was most recently with Supervalu and originally joined Osco Drug in 1980 and Callahan was produce sales manager for Albertsons LLC Southwest division. He joined Albertsons LLC in 2006. Albertsons LLC. Kirby had served as marketing director of the original Albertsons from 1994 until 2000, when she left to become a marketing partner in Ivie and Associates, Flower Mound, TX; and in 2006 when Albertsons LLC was formed, she became senior account director for the chain. Four years later she was named VP-sales and marketing, for Pangea, aDenver,COprint provider.

The company also announced the formation of a new Northwest division office, to be based inPortland,OR, that will manage operations for stores in northernIdaho,OregonandWashington.

An internal memo on February 22 from Sam Duncan, president and CEO of Supervalu, said: “Over the last two days, the AB Acquisition leadership team has spent time at each of the divested banner offices, announcing their new leadership structure following the close of the transaction. Specifically, they introduced a new president to lead each of the banner divisions following the transaction close. AB Acquisition decided to announce these leadership changes now, prior to close, in order to allow for a smooth transition and to help ready the teams for Day 1 operations. A combination of internal talent and external expertise with deep roots in retail, the new leadership will assume responsibility of their respective operating areas following the close of the transaction, which is slated for the third week in March 2013. All of the new division presidents worked for Albertsons LLC previously or are currently employed by the company. The new leaders are looking forward to moving to their respective divisions and working with the associates there to drive local growth and improve store operations.”

Duncan, who took over as Supervalu’s (Cerberus/Symphony Investors) top dog from Wayne Sales even prior to the closing of the deal, has been very engaged with the regional chains he will be leading (Shoppers, Farm Fresh, Shop ‘n Save, Cub and Hornbacher’s) as well as the many independent retailers that will comprise nearly 50 percent of SVU’s sales when Cerberus gains 30 percent equity in the Eden Prairie, MN-based retailer/wholesaler.

Once the deal is finalized, trade observers believe they’ll be more significant personnel change at both headquarters and at the regional banners.