Pleasanton, Calif.-based Safeway’s Tom Keller, president of the company’s Vons division, will retire after more than 40 years of service in the food industry. He will leave his post Feb. 1. Gary Rocheleau, current VP of retail merchandising execution, will lead the Vons division on an interim basis.
Keller has been president of Vons since 1999. He started his career at Safeway as a food clerk in the company’s Phoenix division. He rose through the retail ranks, taking on a range of more senior assignments in a number of geographies including Seattle, Portland and Northern California. Keller left Safeway in 1991 to join Purity Supermarkets in Massachusetts as president and COO prior to the merger with Stop & Shop. He rejoined Safeway in 1998 as VP of retail operations manager in Safeway’s Northern California division.
“Tom leaves an important imprint on the organization as an energetic and innovative leader,” said Steve Burd, Safeway chairman, president and CEO. “We gratefully acknowledge his considerable and varied contributions to the success of our company and wish him the best in the years ahead.”
Rocheleau, a leader within Safeway with excellent knowledge of the Southern California market, is a long-time Vons executive and has held a variety of positions at Safeway at both the retail and the corporate level.
Safeway operates 1,681 stores in the United States and Western Canada.