Supervalu further solidifies new leadership team following AB Acquisition deal

MINNEAPOLIS — Supervalu on Monday morning announced several changes to its executive and banner retail leadership teams, as it continues preparations 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 (Albertson's LLC). 

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 VP, 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 SVP, 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 VP grocery merchandising/procurement.

All three appointments are effective immediately, Supervalu noted. 

Ritchie Casteel was named president and CEO of Save-A-Lot, effective immediately. Casteel 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 2005-2009 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.

The deal between Supervalu and AB Acquisition is expected to be completed the week of March 18, Supervalu stated. 

Following the transaction, Supervalu will retain five 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. Supevalu named the following banner presidents who will report directly to Supervalu CEO Sam Duncan.

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 the transition. Hymas most recently served as SVP 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, ID.

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 Food; Matt Leiseth will continue as president of Hornbacher’s; and Bob Bly will continue as president of Shoppers.

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; and
  • Michael Moore – EVP and chief marketing 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,” Duncan said. “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.”

Also departing is president pharmacy Chris Dimos, as reported last week by DSN



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