Supervalu has named former C&S Wholesale executive Mark Gross as its new president/CEO, effective Feb. 5. The 52-year-old Gross will succeed Sam Duncan, who previously announced his retirement.
Gross joins Supervalu with 20 years of grocery and wholesale leadership experience. From 1997 to 2006, Gross worked at C&S Wholesale Grocers, including serving as co-president from 2005-2006. Additionally during his tenure with C&S, Gross served as CFO, general counsel and president of its affiliated retail grocery operations.
For the past decade, Gross has led Surry Investment Advisors, a consulting firm he founded to provide strategic and operational services to grocery distributors and retailers. In his role, Gross primarily assisted grocery clients on multi-billion dollar acquisitions and divestitures in concert with private equity firms for investments in food retail, distribution and consumer packaged goods sectors.
“I am thrilled to join Supervalu," said Gross, adding that he's "delighted to have the opportunity to help take the company to the next level and to work with the board and management team to set the strategic path for the future. I look forward to working with our great customers and the talented group of employees," including Save-A-Lot's recently appointed CEO Eric Claus, "as Supervalu continues to explore and prepare for a potential spin-off" of the St. Louis-based retail subsidiary.
Jerry Storch, Supervalu's non-executive board chairman, expressed full confidence in Gross as successor to Sam Duncan. “Mark is a talented, strategic and results-driven leader with a wealth of industry experience. We are extremely pleased that Mark will be leading Supervalu and we look forward to working with him to drive the company’s performance.”
As previously announced, Duncan will step down from the company’s 11-member board effective with his retirement on Feb. 29, 2016, and that until that time, will continue with the company as a special advisor to facilitate a smooth transition.
Gross will be appointed to the board effective March 1, 2016.
In addition, Bruce Besanko, COO, will report to Gross and will continue to oversee the day-to-day operations of the company’s independent business and retail food segments, as well as the company’s finance organization.
“I am proud of all that we have accomplished these past three years and thankful for the opportunity I’ve had to lead this great company,” said Duncan. “Supervalu has tremendous employees, customers and licensees and I leave here knowing the company is in good hands with a strong leadership team and a great foundation in place to build on.”