Safeway Names Branding Expert as New Board Member

PLEASANTON, Calif. - Safeway, Inc. said yesterday that Raymond G. Viault had been appointed to its board of directors. Viault, the retired vice chairman of General Mills, will succeed Hector Ley Lopez, who is retiring from the board on Dec. 15.

"We are pleased to have Ray join our board," said Safeway chairman, president, and c.e.o. Steven A. Burd in a statement. "His extensive brand marketing experience in the consumer packaged goods industry will be a valuable resource for us as we expand and enhance our own branding efforts."

At the time of Viault's departure from General Mills earlier this year, he had overall responsibility for four operating divisions: Meals, Pillsbury USA, Baking Products, and Bakeries & Foodservice. He additionally sat on supervisory board of Cereal Partners Worldwide, General Mills' joint venture with Nestle S.A.

Viault is also a director of Newell Rubbermaid, Inc. and VF Corp. With his addition to Safeway's board, eight of its nine members are now independent, non-employees.

Safeway, which operates 1,815 stores in the United States and Canada, had annual sales of $35.6 billion in 2003.
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