Robert “Bob” Bolinder, a grocery veteran who was CEO of Boise, Idaho-based Albertsons Inc. during the 1970s, passed away Feb. 23. He was 85.
Originally from Sacramento, Calif., Bolinder got his start in the grocery industry when he, along with his wife, Trudi, moved from Northern California to Boise to work as Albertsons' controller, according to his obituary in the Idaho Statesman. He went on to become vice chairman and CEO of the company in 1974, then CFO until his retirement in 1984, after which he founded a grocery consulting firm and served on several corporate and food industry association boards.
He came out of retirement in 1988, when he joined Smith’s Food and Drug Centers as EVP and CFO, helping to “shepherd a corporate expansion” that ended in the company’s listing on the New York Stock Exchange, the obituary read. He retired from Smith’s in 1996, a year before its merger with Fred Meyer, which was purchased by Kroger two years after that.
A civic-minded man, Bolinder did everything within his power to help improve Boise, and was president and chairman of many local organizations, working to guide initiatives and humanitarian causes. He also was a lifelong member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, fulfilling several volunteer leadership positions there, including twice serving as ward bishop.
Additionally, Bolinder was an Air Force veteran, stationed at a small base in Freising, Germany, where he worked as a cryptographic technician, and also met Trudi. He was a graduate of Brigham Young University.
Bolinder was preceded in death by Trudi, to whom he was married for 42 years; his brother, Richard; and a grandson, Robert Anthony Bolinder. He is survived by his wife of 18 years, Sharon; his sister, Suzanna; eight children and three stepchildren; and several grandchildren and great-grandchildren.