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    Safeway's Top HR Exec to Retire

    PLEASANTON, Calif. -- Dick W. Gonzales, s.v.p. of human resources and 20-year veteran of Safeway Inc. here, plans to retire at the end of the year, the chain said yesterday.

    PLEASANTON, Calif. -- Dick W. Gonzales, s.v.p. of human resources and 20-year veteran of Safeway Inc. here, plans to retire at the end of the year, the chain said yesterday.

    Gonzales began his Safeway career as a director of compensation and benefits for The Vons Companies, Inc., where he was promoted to group v.p. and then s.v.p. In 1998, he became s.v.p. of corporate human resources for Safeway, with responsibility for the company's workforce of approximately 200,000 employees across the United States and Canada.

    Safeway said that under Gonzales' leadership, it achieved a number of important organizational milestones. He was instrumental in implementing a diversity initiative that led to Safeway being recognized by Fortune as one of American's 50 Best Companies for Minorities in 2003, 2004, 2005, and 2006. The company was also recognized as one of the Fortune 50 Best Companies for Women in 2005. This work gained additional notice in 2006 when Safeway won the Catalyst Award for achievement in the advancement of women in management.

    Safeway operates 1,767 stores in the United States and Canada and had annual sales of $38.4 billion in 2005.

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