CFO, Legal Exec Depart in Latest Supervalu Shakeup

CFO, Legal Exec Depart in Latest Supervalu Shakeup

Longtime Supervalu employee Sherry Smith, who became CFO in late 2010, will leave at the end of May—and Supervalu said it will name a successor “at a later date.”

Supervalu, Inc., on Wednesday announced a second round of management changes since Sam Duncan became CEO in February.
 
The Eden Prairie-based grocer said that Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Sherry Smith, who is also an executive vice president, will leave the company at the end of May. Smith, who joined Supervalu 26 years ago, has served as CFO since December 2010.
 
The company said that it plans to name a new CFO “at a later date.” A spokesman reached by phone declined to reveal a more specific timetable or to provide further information about the process to find a successor.
 
Todd Sheldon—the company’s executive vice president, general counsel, and corporate secretary—will also leave at the end of May, after assisting with the completion of Supervalu’s fiscal 2013 year-end filings.
 
Meanwhile, Karla Robertson has been named executive vice president for legal, effective immediately. Upon Sheldon’s departure, she will also assume Sheldon’s responsibilities and title.
 
Robertson joined Supervalu in July 2009 as senior labor and employment counsel and was later promoted to vice president of the employment, compensation, and benefits law functions. Prior to joining Supervalu, she served as senior counsel for Minneapolis-based Target Corporation and was an associate attorney at Minneapolis-based Faegre & Benson LLP (which last year became Faegre Baker Daniels LLP after merging with an Indianapolis firm).
 
Supervalu said that the management changes come as Duncan “finalizes his executive leadership team.”
 
The latest management changes come less than two weeks after Supervalu completed the sale of five of its largest retail grocery brands to AB Acquisition, LLC, an investor group led by New York-based private investment firm Cerberus Capital Management L.P., in a deal worth $3.3 billion. The group bought 877 stores under the Albertsons, Acme, Jewel-Osco, Shaw’s, and Star Market banners, as well as the associated Osco and Sav-on in-store pharmacies.
 
Supervalu in January announced that it had struck a deal to sell the five grocery brands. The company said at the time that, following the close of the transaction, Duncan would replace Wayne Sales, who became Supervalu’s president and CEO last year. But the company instead appointed Duncan to his new post in early February, saying that the timing would enable him to “immediately start refining and, where appropriate, implement his plans for the business.”
 
Duncan’s initial round of management changes, which included the appointment of a new top marketing executive, were announced in early March. Additionally, several changes to Supervalu’s board occurred in conjunction with the completion of the Cerberus deal. Duncan isn’t currently a member of the board but will join it in the coming months after two new independent directors are identified.
 
“Sherry and Todd worked tirelessly to help structure the deal with AB Acquisition and then see the transaction through to completion,” Duncan said in a statement. “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.”
 
Supervalu was Minnesota’s fourth-largest public company based on revenue for the fiscal year that ended in February 2012, which totaled $36.1 billion. Following the recent sale, the company is expected to be about half that size, with annual sales of roughly $17 billion.
 
Financial results for the fiscal year that ended in February of this year will be released later this month.
 
Supervalu’s stock was trading up about 0.4 percent at $4.83 mid-day Wednesday.
 
The company made headlines last week after announcing plans to eliminate about 1,100 corporate and regional office positions, including 600 in Minnesota.