Albertsons Cos. has appointed Jim Donald, currently the company’s president and COO, as president and CEO, effective immediately. Robert Miller, currently the company’s chairman and CEO, will continue as the chairman of the board.
Donald began his 47-year retail career as a trainee in Florida with Publix Supermarkets. He joined Albertsons in 1976, which culminated in his being appointed VP of operations in Arizona. In 1991, he was recruited personally by Sam Walton to join Walmart to lead the development of its grocery business and superstore concept. Donald subsequently left for Safeway in 1994 to be the SVP of its 130-store Eastern region, a position he held for two years. His first CEO role was at Pathmark Stores from 1996 through 2002, followed by his most well-known appointment as president and CEO at Starbucks. Post Starbucks, Donald served CEO of two other companies, Haggen and Extended Stay America Inc. Donald joined Albertsons in his current role in March 2018.
“Jim is an exceptional retailer. In the seven months since he joined Albertsons Companies, he’s flown tens of thousands of miles and met personally with thousands of employees in hundreds of our stores, distribution centers, manufacturing plants, and offices around the country,” Miller said. “His expertise in listening to front line employees and customers, facilitating employee engagement and generating sales is unmatched, and there is no better leader for Albertsons Companies at this state in our evolution.”
“Albertsons Companies is uniquely positioned to operate in both a ‘four walls’ traditional environment and the ‘no walls’ world of technology,” Donald said. “We serve 34 million customers each week across our 2,300-plus stores and serve 5.5 million patients in our 1,700-plus pharmacies. That’s a significant food, health, and wellness footprint. We’re well positioned to serve the evolving needs of today’s customer, wherever and whenever they choose to shop with us. I am looking forward to leading this dynamic company as we focus on innovation and customer-centric retailing in all its forms.”