Jim Donald Joins Haggen as New CEO

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Jim Donald Joins Haggen as New CEO

Well-respected industry executive Jim Donald has joined Bellingham, Wash.-based Haggen, Inc. as its president and CEO, replacing Dale Henley, who earlier this year said he would retire. In bringing Donald aboard as its new chief executive, the 33-store grocery store company is tapping one of the supermarket industry’s most experienced and talented executives.

Donald’s most recent position was president and CEO of Starbucks Coffee Co., which he held from 2005 until January 2008. He originally joined Starbucks in October 2002 as president, North America, prior to which time he served as chairman, president and CEO of Carteret, N.J.-based Pathmark Stores, Inc., which he joined in 1996.

“Haggen has led the industry in innovation, quality and service, and I am proud to join its 3,700 associates in continuing this trend,” said Donald, noting that joining Haggen “brings me back to my roots in the supermarket industry, a business that I have always had a passion for.”

In a joint statement, Don Haggen, co-owner of the regional grocery company with his brother, Rick Haggen, said, “[Donald] has the experience of leading large companies but understands the importance of visiting stores and building strong relationships within the many communities we serve.”

Donald began his career in 1971 as a trainee with Lakeland, Fla.-based Publix Super Markets, Inc. After joining Albertsons in 1976, Donald quickly rose through its managerial ranks in its Florida, Alabama and Texas divisions and was head of the retailer’s operations in Phoenix. Handpicked by Sam Walton in 1991 to build a major presence in the supermarket business for Bentonville, Ark.-based Wal-Mart, Donald played a key role in the global retailer’s development of its supercenter expansion, supervising all merchandising, distribution, store design and real estate operations. Donald went on to serve as president and manager of Safeway’s 130-store Eastern Division from 1994 to 1996.