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Safeway Inc. has named Robert Edwards as its new president with overall responsibility for the company's retail operations, marketing, merchandising, corporate brands, manufacturing, distribution and finance functions.
Edwards has served as Safeway's EVP and CFO since 2004, and will continue as CFO until a successor is named to the position.
"Robert is one of those unusual executives with a strong command of both the financial and operational sides of our business," said Safeway chairman and CEO Steve Burd. "His deep engagement with our operations and marketing units while he has been CFO will make for a seamless transition to Robert's new role. His assumption of these new duties provides me an opportunity to concentrate more of my time on innovation and a range of strategic initiatives that will drive core and non-core business growth in the long term."
Safeway EVP Larree Renda will assume additional responsibilities for real estate (including property development centers) and information technology, which adds to her current duties managing human resources and labor relations, strategic initiatives, corporate social responsibility, government relations, public affairs and Safeway Health.
"We are taking one of our most productive and talented executives and broadening her duties to include oversight of two key functions," said Burd. "Both of these changes to our management structure will further strengthen our senior team and our ability to deliver sustainable growth."
Before joining Safeway, Edwards served as EVP and CFO at Maxtor Corporation, and was SVP, CFO and CAO at Imation Corp. Prior to that, he had a 20-year career at Santa Fe Southern Pacific Corp. and its affiliates. He currently serves on the boards of Blackhawk Network Holdings, Inc., Casa Ley, S.A. de C.V., Safeway's joint venture in Mexico, and KKR Financial Holdings LLC.
Renda began her career at retail with Safeway in 1974. After progressing through the store ranks, she joined the corporate team in 1991 as VP of retail and advanced through a succession of more senior leadership roles to her current position as EVP. Renda chairs the Safeway Foundation board of directors and serves on the board of Casa Ley. She is also on the board of HSBC Finance Corporation and HSBC North America Holdings Inc. She is a Trustee on the National Joint Labor Management Committee.
Pleasanton, Calif.-based Safeway operates 1,678 stores in the United States and Canada, and had $43.6 billion in sales in 2011.