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Safeway Inc.'s president of perishables, Des Hague, is leaving the company to pursue other business opportunities. Safeway said he will be succeeded by Kelly Griffith, most recently president of the company's Portland Division.
Griffith joined Safeway's Seattle division 28 years ago. After working his way through a range of retail store management assignments, he was promoted to the Pleasanton, Calif.-based grocer's corporate retail operations team in 1999, and was named v.p. the following year. He was promoted to v.p., retail operations for the Seattle division in 2001, then returned to the corporate office as s.v.p., produce and floral in 2004. He has been Portland division president since 2005.
Steve Frisby, currently president of the chain's Texas Division, will replace Griffith as Portland division president. Frisby started with Safeway in 1972 as a clerk in the company's former Little Rock division. He progressed through the retail ranks in three of the company's other operating divisions. After a brief corporate retail operations assignment, Frisby was promoted to Safeway's Northern California division as v.p., retail operations in 1993 and to the company's Portland division in the same capacity three years later. He became Texas division president the following year.
Safeway also promoted Tom Schwilke, who was group v.p., produce and floral, to division president at Texas. Schwilke began his career in 1982 in the company's Seattle division. In 1998 he was promoted to district manager in the Northern California division, then joined the corporate team as director, corporate retail operation, and was later named v.p. After serving as a v.p., retail operations at Vons from 2001 to 2007, he returned to Pleasanton as group v.p., produce and floral.
"Tom's energy and proven ability to get things done on both the marketing and retail side of the business make him well suited to his new duties in Texas," said Burd.
Safeway operates 1,743 stores in the United States and Canada.