SUPERVALU Announces Leadership Changes & Taps Van Buskirk to Lead Private Brands

supervalu buskirkMinneapolis, Minnesota based SUPERVALU announced yesterday 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 LLC. That transaction is expected to be completed the week of March 18, 2013.

The announcement includes additions to SUPERVALU’s corporate leadership team as well as new presidents at Save-A-Lot and Shop ‘N Save. There will be additional announcements in the coming weeks as new president and chief executive officer Sam Duncan continues to finalize his leadership team.

Corporate Leadership Changes
Mark Van Buskirk has been named executive vice president, 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 vice president, meat and seafood merchandising and procurement.

Rob Woseth has been named executive vice president, 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 senior vice president, 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 vice president of produce merchandising/procurement and 11 years as vice president of grocery merchandising/procurement.

All three appointments are effective immediately.

Casteel Named President and CEO at Save-A-Lot
Duncan also announced a leadership change at the company’s hard discount retail chain, appointing Ritchie Casteel as president and CEO of Save-A-Lot, effective immediately. Ritchie 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 vice president of 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.

Banner Presidents Announced
Following the transaction, SUPERVALU will retain five strong 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 percent of the company’s anticipated revenues after the banner sale is complete. The five banner presidents will report directly to Duncan and serve on his leadership team.

Those appointments include:

  • 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 ensuring a smooth and efficient transition. Hymas most recently served as senior vice president of 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 Foods.
  • Matt Leiseth will continue as president of Hornbacher’s.
  • Bob Bly will continue as president of Shoppers.

Commenting on today’s announcement Duncan said, “We have much work to do, both today, and after the transaction closes, but I am pleased with the new leadership team we are assembling and know together we will work tirelessly to improve our business and increase shareholder value. I am energized by what I have seen every day and believe this company will be successful going forward.”

Departures from SUPERVALU
Duncan will name additional members of his leadership team in the near future. 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 – executive vice president, merchandising
  • Michael Moore – executive vice president 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,” said Duncan. “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.”



Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail
Previous articleTarget Opens Three Pilot Stores in Canada
Next articleAhold Targets 40% Private Brand Penetration
Christopher Durham

Christopher Durham is the president of My Private Brand and the co-founder of The Vertex Awards. He is a strategist, author, consultant and retailer who built brands at Delhaize-owned Food Lion, and lead strategy and brand development for Lowe’s Home Improvement. He has consulted with retailers around the world on their private brand portfolios including: Family Dollar, Petco, Staples, Office Depot, Best Buy, Metro (Canada), TLW (Taiwan) and Hola (Taiwan).

Durham has published five definitive books on private brands, including his first book, Fifty2: The My Private Brand Project. In 2017, he will debut his newest book, Vanguard: Vintage Originals, a visual tour of innovation and disruption in private brand going back to the mid-1800’s.
Dynamic in his presentation while down to earth and frank in his opinions, he has presented at numerous conferences, including FUSE, The Dieline Conference, Packaging that Sells, Omnishopper and PLMA’a annual trade show in Chicago.

Durham lives in Charlotte, NC with his wife, Laraine, and two daughters, Olivia and Sarah.