Albertsons Names Vivek Sankaran President and CEO
Albertsons Cos. has named as its new president and CEO Vivek Sankaran, currently CEO of PepsiCo Foods North America, effective April 25.
Jim Donald, Albertsons’ current president and CEO, will remain with the company as co-chairman of the board, with Leonard Laufer serving as the other co-chairman. Laufer, who was appointed to the Albertsons board last October, is a senior managing director and head of transformation and technology for New York-based private-equity firm Cerberus Capital Management.
Additionally, longtime Albertsons leader Robert “Bob” Miller has been named chairman emeritus and will stay on as a member of the board of directors.
“When I joined Albertsons Cos. in 2018, I found a company that had a strong decentralized operating model, a fantastic leadership team and incredible potential to be the four-walls and no-walls leader in the grocery industry,” Donald said. “Over the past year, our team made our company’s nearly 2,300 stores even stronger as we sharpened our focus on the intersection of technology and service. I’m looking forward to the continued progress of the company under the seasoned leadership of Vivek. We continue to be well positioned to serve the evolving needs of today’s customer, where, how and when they choose to shop with us.”
Added Donald: “Vivek brings a rare blend of CPG, retail, manufacturing, logistics, technology, and research and development to Albertsons Cos., all of which are key components to being a successful retailer in an ominchannel-driven environment. Moreover, Vivek has the keen understanding that the front line is directly linked to the bottom line, and I'm confident he will inspire and engage our 270,000 associates across our stores, support offices, manufacturing facilities, and distribution centers.”
“It is a great privilege to join a company that has such deep roots in American retail,” Sankaran said. “Albertsons, Safeway, Vons, Jewel Osco, Shaw's, Acme, Tom Thumb, Randall’s, United Supermarkets, Market Street, Pavilions, Star Market, Haggen and Carrs – all of these banners and more in the Albertsons Cos. family of stores have hundreds of years of combined history. Our stores are integral to the lives of millions of customers each week. I’m excited to build on the legacies of past CEOs Bob Miller and Jim Donald, who both laid a solid foundation for success, and look forward to working with our associates to realize the opportunities and navigate the challenges in our evolving industry.”
Sankaran became CEO of PepsiCo Foods North America last December. Before that, he was the company’s president and COO, a position he attained in 2016. Over the past three years, he has led Frito Lay to industry-leading growth by focusing on innovation, technology and execution. Over his decade-long career at PepsiCo, in addition to leading Frito-Lay, Sankaran was the chief commercial officer of PepsiCo North America, chief customer officer of Frito-Lay, and SVP of strategy of PepsiCo.
Before coming to PepsiCo in 2009, Sankaran was a partner at McKinsey and Co., where he worked with various Fortune 100 companies.
Also today, PepsiCo announced that Steven Williams, currently SVP and chief commercial officer for Frito-Lay's U.S. operations, has been appointed CEO of PepsiCo Foods North America, which includes Frito-Lay North America and Quaker Foods North America, effective immediately.
Boise, Idaho-based Albertsons Cos. operates stores in 34 states and the District of Columbia under 20 well-known banners. The company is No. 3 on Progressive Grocer’s 2018 Super 50 list of the top grocers in the United States.