MINNEAPOLIS — Supervalu has named new leadership at the executive and banner retail level. According to the company, the move is part of its plans to move 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. That transaction is expected to be completed the week of March 18.
Mark Van Buskirk has been named EVP merchandising and marketing for Supervalu, where he will be responsible for overseeing companywide retail merchandising and marketing efforts, along with directing Supervalu’s private brand offerings and retail pharmacy teams. He 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 EVP 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. He spent the past 10 years in business development, strategy and leadership positions with Albertsons Inc. and Albertsons LLC.
Steve Fox has joined Supervalu in the role of senior vice president, food merchandising, reporting to Van Buskirk. He comes to Supervalu after spending 41 years in retail leadership positions with Fred Meyer, a division of Kroger. During his tenure with Fred Meyer, Fox spent 10 years as VP produce merchandising/procurement and 11 years as vice president of grocery merchandising/procurement.
All three appointments are effective immediately.
Duncan also announced a leadership change at the company’s hard discount retail chain, appointing Ritchie Casteel as president and CEO of Save-A-Lot, effective immediately. Ritchie has more than 40 years of experience in retail, including over 30 years in a variety of leadership positions with the original Albertsons Inc, where he finished his tenure as VP operations for Albertsons’ Intermountain West Division.
Casteel also served as director of sales and operations for Grocery Outlet from 2005 to 2009 where he worked closely with independent owner operators to improve sales, margin, shrink, marketing, expense controls and financial balance. Casteel replaces Santiago Roces who will remain with the company over the next several weeks to assist Casteel in ensuring a smooth and efficient transition.
Following the transaction, Supervalu will retain five strong regional retail banners: CUB Foods based in Minnesota; Hornbacher’s in North Dakota; Farm Fresh in Virginia; Shop ‘N Save in St. Louis; and Shoppers in Baltimore/Washington DC. Together these banners operate 191 traditional retail grocery stores and represent slightly more than 25% of the company’s anticipated revenues after the banner sale is complete. The five banner presidents will report directly to Duncan and serve on his leadership team.
Those appointments include:
Eric Hymas has been named president of Shop ‘N Save, replacing Marlene Gebhard who will remain with the company over the next several weeks to assist Hymas in ensuring a smooth and efficient transition. Hymas most recently served as senior vice president of merchandising for Supervalu, which included responsibility for all categories across center store, as well as beverages, fuel and convenience, and fresh departments. Hymas has more than 30 years of experience in grocery retail having started his career in an Albertsons store in Idaho Falls, Idaho.
Bill Parker has been named president, Farm Fresh, after serving for the past seven months in the role of interim president. His appointment is effective immediately.
Brian Audette will continue as president of CUB Foods.
Matt Leiseth will continue as president of Hornbacher’s.
Bob Bly will continue as president of Shoppers.
Commenting on today’s announcement Duncan said, “We have much work to do, both today, and after the transaction closes, 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.”
Duncan will name additional members of his leadership team in the near future. Today’s announcement also includes news of several current executives who will depart the company upon completion of the transaction. They include:
Kevin Holt – president, Supervalu retail
Tim Lowe – EVP merchandising
Michael Moore – EVP and chief marketer officer
“I thank Kevin for his leadership over our retail teams, as well as Tim and Michael for the work they have done leading our retail merchandising and marketing efforts, respectively,” said Duncan. “They have helped ready the business for the future and I appreciate all they have done to ensure a smooth transition. I wish each of them well with their future endeavors.”