Supervalu Reveals New Executives

In pursuit of a “more focused, efficient grocery business,” Minneapolis-based Supervalu Inc. has unveiled several changes to its executive and banner retail leadership teams.

The announcement includes additions to Supervalu’s corporate leadership team as well as new presidents at Save-A-Lot and Shop ‘N Save. Additional announcements are expected in the coming weeks as new president and CEO Sam Duncan continues to finalize his leadership team.

The company is moving forward “with a focus on serving wholesale grocery operators, growing its hard-discount format and running a smaller, more efficient retail operation” following the close of its previously announced transaction with AB Acquisition LLC, Supervalu reported Monday. The deal, in which Supervalu divested itself of five regional supermarket chains, is expected to be completed the week of March 18.

“We have much work to do, both today, and after the transaction closes,” Duncan said, “but I am pleased with the new leadership team we are assembling and know together we will work tirelessly to improve our business and increase shareholder value. I am energized by what I have seen every day and believe this company will be successful going forward.”

In Supervalu’s executive suite, Mark Van Buskirk has been named executive VP of merchandising and marketing, as which he will be responsible for overseeing companywide retail merchandising and marketing efforts, along with directing the grocer’s private brand offerings and retail pharmacy teams. Van Buskirk spent the past 20 years in leadership positions with Kroger, most recently serving as vice president, meat and seafood merchandising and procurement.

Rob Woseth has been named executive VP and chief strategy officer. In addition to overseeing real estate and corporate development, Woseth will focus on identifying strategic growth opportunities that support independent grocers, as well as working with banner leadership to build and maximize the company’s traditional and discount retail businesses. Woseth spent the past 10 years in business development, strategy and leadership positions with Albertsons Inc. and Albertsons LLC.

Steve Fox has joined Supervalu as senior VP of food merchandising, reporting to Van Buskirk. Fox spent 41 years in retail leadership positions with Kroger’s Fred Meyer division, where he served 10 years as VP of produce merchandising/procurement and 11 years as VP of grocery merchandising/procurement.

All three appointments are effective immediately. Duncan is expected to name additional members of his leadership team in the near future.

Several current executives will leave the company upon the deal’s close this month, including Kevin Holt, president, Supervalu Retail; Tim Lowe, executive VP of merchandising; and Michael Moore, executive VP and chief marketing officer.

“They have helped ready the business for the future and I appreciate all they have done to ensure a smooth transition,” Duncan said. “I wish each of them well with their future endeavors.”

Supervalu Inc. operates 4,350 stores composed of 1,068 traditional retail stores, including 778 in-store pharmacies; 1,329 Save-A-Lot stores, of which 946 are operated by licensee owners; and 1,950 independent stores serviced primarily by the company's food distribution business.

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