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PLEASANTON, Calif. -- Lyle Waterman, president of the Safeway's Portland Division, plans to retire October 9 following 46 years of service. He'll remain with the company on special assignment through the end of the year, and will be succeeded by Kelly Griffith, currently corporate s.v.p., produce and floral.
Waterman has led the Portland division since 2000. He began his Safeway career in 1959 as a food clerk and later managed four stores in the Denver area. Over the years he worked his way through a number of progressively more senior retail and marketing assignments in a range of markets including Seattle, Portland, and Canada.
"Lyle leaves a positive and substantial imprint on the organization as a leader and innovator," said Steve Burd, Safeway's chairman, president and c.e.o. "We gratefully acknowledge his significant contribution to the success of our company and wish him the best in the years to come."
Griffith joined Safeway 25 years ago in the company's Seattle Division. He became a store manager in 1989 and worked his way through a succession of retail management assignments including district manager. He joined the corporate retail operations team in 1999, and was promoted to v.p., retail operations in the company's Seattle Division in 2001. He assumed his most recent duties in produce and floral in 2004.
"Kelly's proven leadership skills across a range of challenging retail and marketing assignments at both the division and corporate level will serve him well in Portland," said Burd. "Since taking on produce and floral he has overseen a remarkable series of quality and merchandising improvements that rank Safeway's offering among the best in the trade."
Safeway is a Fortune 50 company with 1,801 stores in the United States and Canada and annual sales of $35.8 billion.