Safeway’s Bruce Everette is retiring as the Pleasanton, Calif.-based company’s EVP of operations after a 44-year career at Safeway. Kelly Griffith, currently the president of merchandising, has been chosen to succeed Everette.
Everette, 61, began his career in 1968 as a clerk in Virginia. He then worked his way up the retail management ranks, holding positions in several geographies, including Oklahoma, Arizona, Illinois and Northern California. He was named president of the company’s Phoenix Division in 1995 and, three years later, became president of the Northern California Division. He was named EVP of retail operations in 2001.
Throughout his career, Everette has been involved with numerous philanthropic organizations. Easter Seals honored him with the State Board of Virginia Pasture Award for Outstanding Leadership. He also received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Muscular Dystrophy Association and the Distinguished Citizen Award from the Boy Scouts of America.
In 1997, Everette was honored as Arizona’s Retailer of the Year. The University of Southern California named him Food Industry Executive of the Year in 2006. Last year the food industry inducted him into the California Grocer’s Association’s Educational Foundation Hall of Achievement.
“We are deeply grateful to Bruce for his significant and lasting contribution to our company’s success,” said Chairman and CEO Steve Burd. “He is the consummate operating executive whose results and people-oriented approach to the business leave an unmistakable imprint on who we are as a company.”
Safeway President Robert Edwards added, “Bruce will be missed, and we wish him and his wife, Lyn, happiness and fulfillment in the next chapter of their lives.”
Griffith, 49, brings 33 years of experience and leadership to his new role. After working his way through a range of retail store management assignments, he was assigned to corporate retail operations in 1999 and named VP the following year. Griffith was promoted to VP of retail operations in the Seattle Division in 2001, then returned to the corporate office as SVP of produce and floral in 2004. He was promoted to Portland Division president in 2005 and returned to corporate in 2008 as president of perishables. In 2010 he was named president of merchandising.
“Over the years Kelly has assumed increasing responsibility at both division and corporate levels,” Edwards said. “He is a well-rounded executive with a deep background in marketing and retail, and he is ready to lead our retail operations to further success. I am extremely pleased to have an executive with Kelly’s experience ready to step up to fill this important role.”