Safeway Names Robert Edwards as CEO

Safeway Inc. has named President Robert L. Edwards to succeed Steven A. Burd as chief executive when Burd retires next month.


Edwards, 57, joined the grocer as chief financial officer in 2004, and was named president in April 2012, giving him responsibility for the company’s retail operations, marketing, manufacturing and other aspects.

Before joining Safeway, he held executive roles at Maxtor Corp., Imation Corp. (IMN) and Santa Fe Pacific Corp.

The company disclosed in January that Burd planned to retire as CEO and chairman to enjoy more personal time and pursue his interest in health-care work.

Burd said that the incoming CEO “has demonstrated the ability to lead the company in all facets of its operations, and has earned the respect of the entire organization.”

The new chief executive will join the company’s board.

Safeway also named T. Gary Rogers, currently the company’s lead independent director and former CEO of Dreyer’s Grand Ice Cream Inc., to take the role of non-executive chairman when Mr. Burd retires.

Safeway operates 1,638 grocery stores under its own name and regional banners like Vons and Randalls. Like its peers, the company has grappled with increased competition from dollar stores and mass-market retailers like Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (WMT).