The new Albertsons-Rite Aid has a new leader

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The new Albertsons-Rite Aid has a new leader

By Gina Acosta - 03/05/2018
Jim Donald will become president and COO, effective immediately, replacing Wayne Denningham, who retired earlier this year. 

The Albertsons Cos. has named the former CEO of Starbucks as president and COO of the newly merged Albertsons-Rite Aid.

Jim Donald will become president and COO, effective immediately, replacing Wayne Denningham, who retired earlier this year. Susan Morris, who became EVP and chief operations officer in January 2018, will continue in her role.

Donald has extensive knowledge of Albertsons’ operations, having previously held senior leadership roles at both Albertsons and Safeway. He was also a member of the board from 2008 to 2013 at drug store chain Rite Aid, which is merging with the Boise, Idaho-based grocery company.

In his new role, Donald will have responsibility for the operations of the retailers’ 2,300+ store portfolio and help with the acceleration of the company’s growing omnichannel platform.

Following the close of the recently announced merger with Rite Aid, subject to customary regulatory approvals and approval by 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 Chief Operations Officer 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,” said Bob Miller, Albertsons Companies Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. “We look forward to tapping his expertise in leading large consumer brands as we wrk every day to meet our customers’ needs, both in-store and online.”

Most recently, Donald served as Chief Executive Officer of Extended Stay America, a large US-based hotel chain, from 2012 to 2015. From 2009 to 2011, Donald served as President and Chief Executive Officer of food and pharmacy retailer Haggen, Inc. 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 Chief Executive Officer of Starbucks Corporation. Earlier in his career, Donald led Pathmark Stores, Inc. and held a variety of senior management positions with Albertson’s, Inc., Safeway, Inc. and Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.

“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. 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,” Donald said.

Albertsons Companies operates stores across 35 states and the District of Columbia under 20 well-known banners including Albertsons, Safeway, Vons, Jewel-Osco, Shaw’s, Acme, Tom Thumb, Randalls, United Supermarkets, Pavilions, Star Market, Haggen and Carrs.

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