Albertsons

Albertsons perks up c-suite with new COO

BY Michael Johnsen

Albertsons on Monday brought back Jim Donald — whose resume includes six years as president and CEO of Starbucks — as its president and COO, effective immediately. Having previously held senior leadership roles at both Albertsons and Safeway, Donald is armed with a working knowledge of operations. Donald also served as a member of the board of directors of Rite Aid from 2008 to 2013.

As president and COO, Donald will have responsibility for the operations of the retailer’s portfolio of more than 2,300 stores and help with the acceleration of the company’s growing omnichannel platform. Following the close of the recently announced merger with Rite Aid — which still awaits approval from regulators and Rite Aid shareholders — Donald will continue in this role and work alongside the rest of the combined company’s leadership team.

Donald replaces Wayne Denningham, who retired earlier this year. Susan Morris, who was named executive vice president and COO in January 2018, will continue in her role.

“Jim Donald has built an exceptional career in retail. His knowledge of our company and industry is unmatched, and I know his contributions will be invaluable as we enter the next chapter of Albertsons Companies,” Bob Miller, Albertsons Companies chairman and CEO, said. “We look forward to tapping his expertise in leading large consumer brands as we work every day to meet our customers’ needs, both in-store and online.”

Most recently, Donald served as CEO Extended Stay America, a large United States-based hotel chain, from 2012 to 2015. From 2009 to 2011, Donald served as president and CEO of food and pharmacy retailer Haggen. Prior to that, he spent six years at Starbucks, leading the company through a period of strong growth and performance, working his way up from president of its North America Division to president and CEO of Starbucks Corporation.

Earlier in his career, Donald led Pathmark Stores and held a variety of senior management positions with Albertson’s, Safeway and Walmart.

“Having first worked at Albertsons 42 years ago, I have watched as an insider and from afar how their keen focus on customer service maintained a solid foundation for their team through the years,” Donald said. “Their acquisitive nature combined with their recent innovation efforts and strong own brands portfolio have helped them to build an even stronger company today. I look forward to being a part of the team that takes this great company into the future and continues to serve the food, health, and wellness needs of today’s busy customers.”

Albertsons announced its proposed merger with Rite Aid in late February.

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