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Supervalu announces additional changes to executive suite

BY Michael Johnsen

MINNEAPOLIS — Supervalu on Wednesday announced additional changes at the senior level as Sam Duncan, Supervalu president and CEO, finalizes his executive leadership team.

Sherry Smith, EVP and CFO, will leave the company at the end of May. Smith has served as the company’s CFO since her appointment in December 2010. She has spent 26 years with Supervalu and previously served as SVP, finance. The company plans to announce a new CFO at a later date.

Karla Robertson has been named EVP legal, effective immediately. She replaces Todd Sheldon, EVP general counsel and corporate secretary, who will stay through May to assist the company in the completion of its fiscal 2013 year-end filings. At that time, Robertson will assume the additional roles and responsibilities held by Sheldon, including the title of EVP general counsel and corporate secretary. In this role, Robertson will have responsibility for overseeing the legal, risk management and asset protection teams for the company as well as working closely with Supervalu’s non-executive chairman, Robert Miller, and the company’s 11-person board of directors.

Robertson joined Supervalu in July 2009 as senior labor and employment counsel and was later promoted to VP employment, compensation and benefits law functions. Prior to Supervalu, Robertson served as senior counsel with Target Corporation and was an associate attorney at Faegre & Benson LLP, where she practiced in both the employment and business litigation areas.

“Sherry and Todd worked tirelessly to help structure the deal with AB Acquisition and then see the transaction through to completion,” Duncan said. “I am grateful for their commitment to this company and our shareholders and know they helped put us in a strong position to be successful going forward. I wish them both the best in their future endeavors.”

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The Street: Jim Cramer picks Safeway over Whole Foods

BY Michael Johnsen

NEW YORK — Mad Money’s Jim Cramer tabbed Safeway over Whole Foods in an interview with The Street published Tuesday.

One of the big plusses behind Safeway is its proposed IPO of its Blackhawk pre-paid card division. But that isn’t all, Cramer noted — main stream supermarkets are eating away at Whole Foods’ grab on organics. "[Safeway] understand[s] that organic’s the way to go, and these places have reinvented themselves," Cramer told The Street. Safeway is also "shareholder friendly," Cramer added, with a dividend at 6.7%.

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CMS sees ‘stable path’ for Medicare Advantage in 2014

BY Alaric DeArment

WASHINGTON — Next year, for the first time since Medicare Part D’s inception, the deductible for the defined standard plan will be lower than in previous years, as healthcare spending across the country has been growing, with Medicare spending per beneficiary at 0.4% in 2012.

Amid these trends, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services issued its 2014 rate announcement and final call letter for the Medicare Advantage and Part D programs. The CMS said the announcements would set a stable path for Medicare Advantage and implement a number of policies designed to improve payment accuracy.

"The policies announced today further the agency’s goal of improving payment accuracy in all our programs, while at the same time ensuring program stability and preserving beneficiary choice," CMS acting principal deputy administrator Jonathan Blum said. Medicare Advantage enrollment has increased by 25% while premiums have fallen since the enactment of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010, the CMS said.

Key changes and updates in the rate announcement and call letter include lower out-of-pocket drug spending; greater protection for beneficiaries; payments to plans; an improved risk adjustment model; and improved coordination of care.

 

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