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Safeway names successor for CEO Burd
April 30th, 2013
PLEASANTON, Calif. – Robert Edwards is set to become chief executive officer of Safeway Inc. next month with the retirement of longtime CEO Steve Burd.
The food and pharmacy retailer said late Monday that Edwards, now Safeway's president, will take the CEO reins on May 14, when Burd is slated to retire from the chief executive and chairman posts. Edwards, 57, also will join Safeway's board.
Safeway had announced Burd's plan to retire in January. Industry analysts had cited Edwards as a leading candidate during the company's search for a successor.
Edwards joined Safeway as executive vice president and chief financial officer in 2004. He was appointed president in April 2012, with overall responsibility for the supermarket chain's retail operations, marketing, merchandising, corporate brands, manufacturing, distribution and finance. He stayed on as CFO until Peter Bocian took over that role this past February.
"Since he arrived here in 2004, Robert has successfully met every challenge he has faced," Burd said in a statement. "He has demonstrated the ability to lead the company in all facets of its operations and has earned the respect of the entire organization."
Also on Monday, Safeway said its board's lead independent director, T. Gary Rogers, 70, will become nonexecutive chairman with Burd's retirement. Rogers, the former chairman and CEO of Dreyer's Grand Ice Cream, has been a member of Safeway's board since March 2011.
Burd, 63, joined Safeway in October 1992 as president and became CEO in April 1993. He has served as chairman since May 1998.
Safeway operates 1,638 stores in the United States and western Canada and had annual sales of $44.2 billion in 2012. The retailer is one of the nation's 10 largest retail pharmacy operators, with about 1,300 in-store pharmacies and $3.84 billion in pharmacy sales in 2012.