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Janel Haugarth, EVP and president of Independent Business and Supply Chain Services at Supervalu Inc., will retire on Dec. 26 after nearly 40 years with the Minneapolis-based company.
Feted as the recipient of the 2014 Top Women in Grocery Trailblazer by Progressive Grocer and the Network of Executive Women (NEW) and a past Top Woman in Grocery honoree, Haugarth has served in a variety of leadership positions and roles of increasing responsibility at Supervalu, including as EVP, since 2006.
“Janel has been a tremendous advocate for this company throughout her Supervalu career,” said CEO and President Sam Duncan. “It has been an absolute pleasure to have worked with Janel for the past 2½ years. Her knowledge of the industry and her passion for helping our independent retailers succeed is second to none. I’m grateful for her many years of leadership to this company and wish her all the best in her retirement.”
Brought new strong direction
Under Haugarth’s leadership and direction, Supervalu consolidated and realigned its wholesale operations after divesting the retail banners it had acquired from Albertsons. Haugarth introduced a national sales expo for independent grocers that attracted more than 4,000 attendees the past two years, launched new professional services programs to support the expanding needs of independent retailers, and led the procurement and growth of new business for the company’s Independent Business segment.
Progressive Grocer recognized these efforts by selecting Supervalu as its 2015 Wholesaler of the Year.
“We believe we are the best wholesaler in the industry and we will continue to prove that,” Haugarth told PG in February.
She added upon her retirement announcement: “I feel very fortunate to have spent my career working for Supervalu and so grateful to have worked with such amazing employees, suppliers and customers for nearly 40 years It will be hard to leave this great company and all these great people, but I’m looking forward to the next phase of my life and am confident that Supervalu is well-positioned going forward.”
Haugarth's primary leadership roles at Supervalu began in 1985, when she was named controller for the company’s Bismarck division. After assuming a number of roles across the organization, she was next named EVP of Supervalu’s Northern region in 2000, at which time she became the company’s first female region president. She was later named EVP, president and COO for Supervalu’s Supply Chain Services organization in 2006, and in 2011 assumed the role of EVP of merchandising and logistics.
Stigers stepping in
Mike Stigers, current president of Supervalu’s Cub Foods banner, has been appointed to succeed Haugarth as EVP and president of Independent Business and Supply Chain.
Stigers, who started his grocery career in 1974, has more than 40 years of experience in the grocery industry. He joined Supervalu in 2011, and has served as president of Shaw’s, one of the banners sold back to Albertsons, and as president of the Northern Region, formerly one of the three sales regions within Supervalu’s Independent Business segment.
Stigers will assume his new responsibilities Dec. 27, and will report to Bruce Besanko, Supervalu’s EVP and COO.
“Mike is a terrific and well respected leader with deep knowledge of the grocery industry and strong relationships across our entire retail and wholesale business,” Duncan said. “Under Mike’s direction, I am confident our wholesale operations and our Independent Business customers will be in great hands.”
With annual sales of $18 billion, Supervalu serves customers across the United States through a network of 3,395 stores including 1,854 independent stores serviced primarily by the company’s food distribution business; 1,342 Save-A-Lot stores, of which 901 are operated by licensee owners; and 199 traditional retail grocery stores.