Susan Morris has been named executive VP and chief operating officer of Albertsons Cos. Her promotion comes after the company announced that current president and COO Wayne Denningham plans to retire near the end of the company’s fiscal year which will occur on February 24. In addition, Morris will continue to oversee four operating divisions – Seattle, Portland, Northern California and Southern California – for the Boise, ID-based retailer. She will also supervise the food and drug merchant’s supply chain, manufacturing and operations functions. She will be based at the company’s corporate headquarters in Boise.
Morris began her career in Albertsons’ Denver division while still in high school and worked her way up in the ranks, demonstrating an ability to lead, execute and build strong teams in her more than 30 years in the retail grocery business, according to Albertsons.
Her career has spanned roles from store director to corporate grocery sales director, VP of bakery and operations and, upon the sale of Albertsons Inc.’s assets to Supervalu, VP of customer satisfaction for the Eden Prairie, MN-based wholesaler and retailer. In 2013, Morris was named Intermountain division president after a three-year stint in the company’s Southwest division, and subsequently was asked to lead the Denver division in 2015. She was named executive VP of East operations in April 2016 and was moved to head West region operations last March.
“Susan is a talented leader within our company, and she fully embraces our entrepreneurial spirit and commitment to running really good stores,” Albertsons chairman and chief executive officer Bob Miller said in a statement. “Susan raised her hand to come to Albertsons Cos. in 2010 when she was a senior VP of sales and marketing for a competitor, and she took the only job we had open – a grocery sales manager in our Southwest division. She has proven herself to be a valuable part of our leadership team in readily accepting new challenges, developing others and bringing teams together, and I know that her broad experience will be of significant value to Albertsons Cos. as we move forward.”
Jim Perkins, executive VP of operations and special projects, will continue as president of the Acme and Safeway-Eastern divisions. Mike Withers, executive VP of East region operations, which includes Jewel-Osco, Shaw’s, Southern, Southwest and United, will now have responsibility for two of Morris’ former divisions – Denver and Intermountain (based in Boise).
Wayne Denningham has served as COO of Albertsons Cos. since April 2015. He began his career with Albertsons Inc. in 1977 as a courtesy clerk and worked his way up in the organization, eventually serving as president of the Dallas-Fort Worth division, and joined Albertsons LLC in 2006. He led the Rocky Mountain and Florida divisions before being named president of the Southern division in 2010.
In March 2013, Denningham was appointed as president of the Southern California division. He assumed the role of COO for the South region at the Safeway acquisition close in January 2015.
Overall, Albertsons Cos. has more than 2,300 supermarkets and approximately 1,700 in-store pharmacies in 35 states and the District of Columbia under 20 retail banners, including Acme, Safeway, Shaw’s, Albertsons, Vons, Jewel-Osco, Tom Thumb, Randalls, United Supermarkets, Pavilions, Haggen and Carrs.