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Veteran wholesale executive James Weidenheimer has joined Supervalu in the position of EVP, corporate development and chief innovation officer, effective April 25.
Coming to the Minneapolis-based wholesaler from C&S Wholesale Grocers, Weidenheimer will work to develop new business for Supervalu, as well as cross-channel merchandising and promotions, and integration of logistical/delivery solutions.
"Jim has a wealth of industry knowledge and extensive expertise in procurement, distribution and logistics and is able to draw on all this experience when considering how to best structure new offerings for a customer," said President/CEO Mark Gross, to whom Weidenheimer will report. "I’m confident that he’ll bring instant credibility to this role and innovation to our business."
Prior to his retirement from C&S this year, Weidenheimer had served as SVP of corporate development for the Keene, N.H.-based company since 2008. Before that, he was VP and CFO for Richfood Holdings.
Changes to Supervalu Executive Ranks; Indie Biz Renamed
Along with the addition of Weidenheimer, Supervalu has made a series of changes to its executive responsibilities.
Company EVP and COO Bruce Besanko has added chief financial officer to his title, a position he held from August 2013 to October 2015.
Besanko will continue to oversee Supervalu's five regional retail banners, the company’s merchandising, marketing and pharmacy functions, and now the finance function, and has added oversight of human resources as well.
Additionally, Susan Grafton will report to Besanko as SVP, finance, and chief accounting officer, in which she'll oversee accounting and select finance functions.
The company also revealed that it has renamed its Independent Business segment as Wholesale, as wholesale serves as this segment’s primary function, which is to distribute consumable products to retail stores for final sale. Mike Stigers, EVP, wholesale, will continue to lead this renamed segment, reporting to Gross.
Supervalu Inc. operates 3,407 stores composed of 1,871 independent stores serviced primarily by the company’s food distribution business; 1,336 Save-A-Lot stores, of which 883 are operated by licensee owners; and 200 traditional retail grocery stores.