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Safeway Inc. has named Lori Raya as president of its Vons Division, succeeding Tom Keller, who retires this week after leading Vons since 1999 and 40 years in the industry.
Having built her reputation as a seasoned retail executive running store operations in several of Safeway’s key operating divisions, Raya brings to her new role a unique set of skills. She has cross-trained at a senior level, successfully managing large marketing units that together represent nearly half of the company’s business volume.
In her most recent position as senior vice president of main meal, Raya was responsible for the company’s largest portfolio of center-store business units, including ingredients, beverages and snacks. She joined Safeway nearly 25 years ago as a clerk in the company’s Denver Division.
Raya progressed through the retail ranks including assignments at the company’s corporate office, and then as district manager at Vons and VP retail operations in Safeway’s Northern California Division. In 2009, Raya joined the perishable marketing team as a GVP of deli, foodservice and bakery, and was promoted to SVP, with added responsibility for dairy/refrigerated and frozen food, before assuming her previous role in mid-2011.
“Lori’s considerable breadth of experience running major retail units, as well as large perishable and non-perishable marketing functions within the company, make her an excellent fit for the leadership role at Vons,” said Steve Burd, Safeway’s chairman, president and CEO. “That, combined with her exceptional track record of success, has positioned her perfectly to run one of our largest operating divisions.”
Pleasanton, Calif.-based Safeway Inc. operates 1,681 stores in the United States and western Canada.