Supervalu: Leadership Changes Will Help Drive Turnaround

Supervalu: Leadership Changes Will Help Drive Turnaround

CEO Wayne Sales said Wednesday that a restructuring of Supervalu’s leadership team is “designed to address two of our most immediate priorities: driving profitable sales in our retail stores and taking costs out of the business.”

Grocery retailer Supervalu, Inc., on Wednesday announced a series of leadership changes that it says will help turn the struggling company around.

President, CEO, and Chairman Wayne Sales, who replaced ousted CEO Craig Herkert in July, said in a statement that the company is “moving quickly to reinvigorate Supervalu, and that starts with leadership.”

Eden Prairie-based Supervalu has been closing stores, cutting jobs, and lowering its debts in a major turnaround effort, and it said last month that it is seeking a buyer. (A recent Bloomberg report indicated that Supervalu’s advisers are asking interested buyers to bid for the entire business, but several potential buyers have inquired about purchasing parts of the company.)

As part of the new leadership changes, Kevin Holt, executive vice president of retail, has taken on an expanded role as president of retail. He will work with Sales and other leaders to “drive the overall strategy for the company’s traditional retail and pharmacy divisions, including overseeing the marketing and merchandising functions,” the company said.

Michael Moore, who was named executive vice president and chief marketing officer in January, will now report to Holt, as will Tim Lowe, who was previously senior vice president of merchandising but has been promoted to executive vice president of merchandising.

Janel Haugarth, meanwhile, will serve in the newly created position of executive vice president of business optimization and process improvement. Haugarth, who has worked for Supervalu for 35 years, will be “responsible for identifying and executing strategies to make Supervalu a more streamlined, effective organization,” the company said.

Last, Fred Boehler was named senior vice president of supply chain and will report directly to Sales.

“The changes I have made to my executive team are designed to address two of our most immediate priorities: driving profitable sales in our retail stores and taking costs out of the business,” Sales said. “These efforts are critical to our successful turnaround.”

Supervalu is among Minnesota’s five largest public companies based on revenue. It serves customers through a network of approximately 4,400 stores and has about 130,000 employees. The company reported a net loss of $1 billion on net sales of $36.1 billion in its most recently completed fiscal year, and last month it has suspended its quarterly dividend, as well as its same-store sales and earnings guidance for this fiscal year, which ends in February.

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