Safeway to Lose 3 Execs
In the wake of merging with Albertsons, Safeway Inc. will lose three of its highest-ranking executives: EVP and CFO Peter J. Bocian, EVP and Chief Marketing Officer Diane M. Dietz, and Larree Renda, EVP of Safeway and chair of The Safeway Foundation, which oversees the grocer's charitable giving activities.
The three "have decided to leave the company shortly after our pending merger with Albertsons," Brian Dowling, VP, public affairs at Pleasanton, Calif.-based Safeway, confirmed to PG. "They will remain in their current positions through the close of the transaction and may remain beyond that to help with the transition." No information was provided as to their reasons for leaving, or their future plans.
Bocian, who joined the grocer in February 2013, oversaw its financial functions, including accounting, tax, audit, treasury, investor relations, planning and business development. He reported directly to Safeway President and CEO Robert Edwards. Bocian joined the company from New York-based JPMorgan Chase, where he had been EVP, head of corporate services and finance, with overall responsibility for global real estate, procurement, technology and real estate finance, and general services. His earlier experience included top executive positions at Hewlett-Packard, Starbucks and NCR Corp.
Dietz came to Safeway in July 2008, after a 19-year career with Procter & Gamble, where she worked on Crest, Gillette and Oral B, with responsibility for a broad range of brand management and marketing functions across the organization. She has been named one of PG's Top Women in Grocery multiple times.
Also a repeat Top Woman in Grocery, Renda received the Trailblazer Award from PG and the Network of Executive Women at the 2013 Top Women in Grocery gala event. Established in 2012, the award recognizes a single food industry executive whose leadership, vision and influence have had profound influences on breaking new ground for women in the retail food industry.
Renda, who started out at Safeway as a 16-year-old part-time bagger and worked her way up through the ranks, was responsible for all retail strategies and a broad range of administrative functions for one of the largest food and drug retailers in North America, encompassing labor relations, public affairs, communications, government relations, health initiatives, human resources, corporate social responsibility, sustainability, industrial engineering, information technology and real estate.
As she climbed the corporate ladder, Renda was often the first woman and/or youngest person to hold each successive new job along the way, including her promotion to SVP in 1994 and her subsequent appointment as Safeway’s first female EVP in 1999. She was also the youngest store manager, district manager and retail operations manager in the company's 87-year history.
"Larree has been a true architect of change in a business where men have traditionally far outnumbered women in all capacities," noted PG Chief Content Editor Meg Major at the time Renda received her Trailblazer Award.