Safeway president Robert L. Edwards will succeed Steven A. Burd as CEO when Burd retires as chairman and CEO May 14, 2013. Edwards, 57, will also join the company's board of directors.
T. Gary Rogers, currently Safeway’s lead independent director, will become non-executive chairman upon Burd's retirement.
"Since he arrived here in 2004, Robert has successfully met every challenge he has faced," said Burd. "He has demonstrated the ability to lead the company in all facets of its operations, and has earned the respect of the entire organization."
Edwards joined Safeway as EVP and CFO in 2004. In April 2012, he was named president, with overall responsibility for the company's retail operations, marketing, merchandising, corporate brands, manufacturing, distribution and finance functions. He continued as CFO until Peter J. Bocian succeeded him in that role in February 2013.
Prior to joining Safeway, he served as a senior executive at Maxtor Corporation, Imation Corporation and Santa Fe Pacific Corporation. He serves as a director on KKR Financial Holdings, LLC and on Blackhawk Network Holdings, Inc., a subsidiary of Safeway Inc.
Rogers, 70, has been a member of the company's board since March 2011. He is the former chairman and CEO of Dreyer's Grand Ice Cream, Inc., where he led the development of the nation's largest ice cream company from 1977 to 2007. He later served as non-executive chairman of Levi Strauss & Co., and of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
"The Board undertook a thorough search and concluded that Robert is the best candidate to lead Safeway," said Rogers. "He has the talent and experience that give the Board confidence that he will be a successful CEO."
Pleasanton, Calif.-based Safeway operates 1,638 stores in the U.S. and western Canada.