Albertsons and Safeway name senior leadership team


Boise, Idaho-based AB Acquisition LLC (Albertsons) and Safeway Inc., Pleasanton, Calif., announced the new senior leadership team and division leaders for the combined company. The appointments will take effect upon the closing of the proposed merger transaction, which is pending customary regulatory approvals.

“We’re drawing on the strong talent within both companies to build an innovative customer-focused and growth-driven company,” said Robert Edwards, Safeway's president and CEO, who will serve as the combined company’s president and CEO. “We are confident in this team’s ability to build a great company that’s positioned to win over the long-term by earning the loyalty of grocery shoppers in every market we serve and delivering superior operational and financial results.”

After regulatory approval and closing of the transaction, Safeway and Albertsons said, the new company's leadership team will consist of: 

  • Bob Gordon, executive vice president and general counsel
  • Shane Sampson, executive vice president, marketing and merchandising
  • Andy Scoggin, executive vice president, human resources, labor relations, public affairs and government affairs
  • Jerry Tidwell, executive vice president, supply chain and manufacturing
  • Lee Wilson, executive vice president and chief administrative officer
  • Bob Dimond, executive vice president and chief financial officer, reporting to Wilson
  • Justin Ewing, executive vice president, corporate development and real estate, reporting to Wilson
  • Barry Libenson, interim executive vice president and chief information officer, reporting to Wilson.  Libenson is expected to be with the new company through March 2015, at which time a successor will be named.
  • Wayne Denningham, executive vice president and chief operating officer, South Region
  • Justin Dye, executive vice president and chief operating officer, East Region
  • Kelly Griffith, executive vice president and chief operating officer, North Region 

The new company will consist of three regions and 14 retail divisions. The company will keep the focus and financial responsibility at the division level, but take full advantage of the expertise, vision and core capabilities of the corporate team. The 14 divisions will be supported by corporate offices in Boise, Pleasanton and Phoenix, the companies stated.

The division presidents for the new company, who will report to the chief operating officer for their respective regions, will be: 

  • Dennis Bassler, Portland Division, North Region
  • Paul McTavish, Denver Division, North Region
  • Susan Morris, Intermountain Division, North Region
  • Tom Schwilke, Northern California Division, North Region
  • Dan Valenzuela, Seattle Division, North Region
  • Shane Dorcheus, Southwest Division, South Region
  • Scott Hayes, Southern Division, South Region
  • Sidney Hopper, Houston Division, South Region
  • Lori Raya, Southern California Division, South Region
  • Robert Taylor, United Division, South Region
  • Steve Burnham, Eastern Division, East Region
  • Jim Perkins, Acme Division, East Region
  • Jim Rice, Shaw’s Division, East Region
  • Mike Withers, Jewel-Osco Division, East Region 

Safeway and Albertsons said no banner changes are planned.

“We know the best way to grow our business is to have the highest-quality fresh departments, lower prices, clean, well-stocked stores and the best customer service in the market,” said Bob Miller, Albertsons' CEO, who will become executive chairman of the combined company upon completion of the transaction. “Our teams will focus on delivering what customers want locally, and we will give our store teams more flexibility to make decisions that are right for their neighborhoods. The division teams will have the responsibility to have the right assortment for their markets.”

Safeway shareholders approved the proposed merger agreement on July 25, under which AB Acquisition LLC, an affiliate of Albertsons, will acquire all outstanding shares of Safeway. The transaction is under review by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and is expected to close in the fourth quarter of this year, pending FTC approval, the companies stated.