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Bob Miller named CEO of Albertsons, NAI and Safeway

BY Antoinette Alexander

 

BOISE, Idaho — AB Acquisition LLC — parent company of Albertson's LLC, New Albertson's Inc. and Safeway (collectively Albertsons) — announced on Friday that Bob Miller, the company's current executive chairman, will assume the additional role of CEO, effective immediately.

Robert Edwards, who had been appointed CEO at the transaction close, will continue on with the company as vice chairman providing counsel to the board and the organization on key strategic and integration matters.

"As CEO of Safeway, Robert made tough decisions that led to significant improvements in Safeway's shareholder value and positioning the company for the future," stated Miller. "The last year has been a time of great change for our companies, and we appreciate Robert's leadership during this critical time."

Added Edwards, "It's been a privilege to work with Bob and our teams as we've brought these companies together, and I'm extremely proud of the work we've completed and the foundation we've created for the future. We've made significant strides in the time since the merger has closed, and I feel comfortable turning my focus to other matters that will be of the best benefit to the company."

Albertsons also announced the restructuring of its executive leadership team, introducing the Office of the CEO to support the day-to-day operations of the company's 14 divisions and 2,200 stores.

In addition to Miller, the Office of the CEO will be comprised of Wayne Denningham, COO for all of the company's regions; Justin Dye, chief administrative officer; and Shane Sampson, chief marketing and merchandising officer. Jim Perkins and Kelly Griffith will continue to serve as EVPs of operations for the company's regions and will now report to Denningham.

Denningham began his career with Albertson's in 1977 as a courtesy clerk and worked his way up in the organization, ultimately serving as president of the Dallas-Fort Worth division, and joined Albertson's LLC in 2006. He led the Rocky Mountain and Florida divisions before being named president of the company's Southern division in 2010. Denningham was named resident of the Southern California division in March 2013 and assumed his current role overseeing operations for the South Region at the Safeway transaction close in January 2015.

Dye joined Albertson's LLC in 2006, playing an integral role in the acquisition and formation of the company and assuming the role of chief strategy officer. In 2013, he was named COO of New Albertson's, Inc., and assumed responsibility for leading the turnaround of the company's pharmacy business across all banners — ACME Markets, Jewel-Osco and Shaw's/Star Market chains. In February 2015, he was appointed chief administrative officer with responsibility for IT, supply chain, corporate development, real estate and integration management.

Sampson built his career with Albertson's Inc., working his way up through the company's ranks, culminating in serving as president of both the Florida and Intermountain Divisions.  He left the company in 2002, and spent several years with Sam's Club. He returned to Albertson's LLC's Southern division at its inception and served as VP of merchandising and marketing when he left to accept the role of SVP of sales and operations at Ahold's Giant of Landover banner. In 2013, Sampson rejoined the Albertsons team when he was tapped for president of Shaw's and Star Market, and in 2014, he moved to Chicago upon being named president of Jewel-Osco. In January 2015, Sampson was appointed EVP, marketing and merchandising.
 

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Giant Eagle CEO speaks on community investments

BY Michael Johnsen

PITTSBURGH – Giant Eagle CEO Laura Karet addressed members of the Pittsburgh Regional Alliance on Wednesday concerning how important it is to invest in the local community. 
 
Karet, who serves as PRA chairperson, spoke at the group's annual "Wins Day" event, which highlights capital investment in the 10-county Pittsburgh region, according to a report in the Pittsburgh Business Times
 
According to the report, capital Investment in the Pittsburgh region totaled $2.3 billion in 2014.
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Survey: Nearly half of smartphone traffic comes from search

BY Dan Berthiaume

PITTSBURGH — Smartphone users are looking for something. According to a new report from Branding Brand's Mobile Commerce Index, 43% of all smartphone traffic came from search in first-quarter 2015, a 5% increase compared to fourth quarter 2014.
 
According to the report, 27% of smartphone traffic arrived direct; 16% arrived from email; and 14% arrived from referrals.
 
The Index also revealed that Apple devices accounted for 59% of all smartphone visits in the quarter. Visits from users running iOS 8 grew 30%, while iOS 7 dropped 42% from the prior quarter. Google is scheduled to change its search ranking algorithm to weight mobile-optimized sites more heavily.
 
"Search is the leading source of traffic to retailers' smartphone sites," said Chris Mason, Branding Brand CEO and co-founder. "Retailers need to focus on providing mobile friendly experiences that not only convert but can also get found in the first place."
 
The 100 mobile-optimized sites in the study received a total of 280 million visits from January 1 to March 31, 2015 and produced $233 million in revenue. During this time, 28% of all online revenue was generated by mobile devices.
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