Supervalu Announces Changes to Management Team

The changes, which include the appointment of a new top marketing executive, are the first since Sam Duncan took the reins as CEO and come less than two months after the company struck a deal to sell five of its largest retail grocery brands in a $3.3 billion deal.

Supervalu, Inc., said Monday that it has appointed a new top marketing executive and made several other leadership changes—the first since Sam Duncan took the helm as CEO last month.

The changes also come less than two months after the Eden Prairie-based grocer struck a deal to sell five of its largest retail grocery brands to New York-based private investment firm Cerberus Capital Management L.P. in a deal worth $3.3 billion. Under the terms of the deal, Cerberus and a group of real estate firms will buy 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 said that Mark Van Buskirk has been named executive vice president of merchandising and marketing. He has spent the past 20 years in leadership positions with major supermarket chain Kroger, most recently serving as vice president of meat and seafood merchandising and procurement.

Meanwhile, Rob Woseth has been named executive vice president and chief strategy officer, a role in which he’ll oversee real estate and corporate development. Woseth has 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 senior vice president of food merchandising, and he reports to Van Buskirk. Fox has spent 41 years in retail leadership positions with Fred Meyer, a division of Kroger; during that period, he spent 10 years as vice president of produce merchandising and procurement and 11 years as vice president of grocery merchandising and procurement.

Additionally, Ritchie Casteel was named CEO of Save-A-Lot, Supervalu’s St. Louis-based discount chain. Casteel has more than 40 years of experience in retail, more than three-fourths of it spent in leadership positions with the original Albertsons, Inc. Casteel replaces Santiago Roces, and although his appointment is effective immediately, Roces will remain at the company over the next several weeks to assist with the transition.

In addition to the new appointments, several executives will leave the company when the Cerberus deal closes. They include Kevin Holt, president of Supervalu retail; Tim Lowe, executive vice president of merchandising; and Michael Moore, executive vice president and chief marketing officer.

Supervalu also named new leaders for its Shop ‘N Save and Farm Fresh banners, based in St. Louis and Virginia, respectively. Eric Hymas, who previously served as Supervalu’s senior vice president of merchandising, is now president of Shop ‘N Save and replaces Marlene Gebhard, who will remain at the company over the next several weeks to assist with the transition. And Bill Parker, Farm Fresh’s interim president for the past seven months, was named president.

There were no leadership changes at Supervalu’s locally based Cub Foods. Brian Audette will remain president of that chain.

Supervalu is currently Minnesota’s fourth-largest public company based on revenue, which totaled $36.1 billion in its most recently completed fiscal year, and it employs about 125,000. Following the sale, it expects to generate about $17 billion in annual revenue.

The company said that there will be additional announcements in the coming weeks as Duncan continues to finalize his leadership team.