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Former Supervalu executive Peter Van Helden will become president and chief operating officer of Stater Bros. Markets when Jim Lee retires on June 1, 2013.
Van Helden, a 36-year supermarket industry veteran, was most recently EVP of retail operations for Supervalu. He joined the Minneapolis-based retailer/distributor in 2006, in conjunction with its acquisition of Albertsons, where he served as president and CEO of the California food division. He was also previously president of Supervalu’s Chicago-based Jewel-Osco division.
“Pete is a well respected and long-time food industry executive,” said Jack H. Brown, Stater Bros. chairman and CEO. “I am confident that he will do an outstanding job as president and COO and will be valuable to the future growth of Stater Bros.”
During his 35-year tenure at Albertsons, Van Helden held a variety of leadership positions, including operations, merger integration and dual branding. As president/CEO of Albertsons’ California division, he oversaw a business unit comprised of more than 500 stores and 41,000 associates.
Van Helden, who earned a Bachelor of Science degree from University of Phoenix, began his career in 1977, working for Rosauers in Libby, Mont., as a courtesy clerk. In 1978, he relocated to Bozeman, where he joined Albertsons as a clerk.
With 2012 annual sales of $3.9 billion, San Bernardino, Calif.-based Stater Bros. is the largest privately owned supermarket chain in Southern California and is the largest private employer in both San Bernardino and Riverside counties. The company operates 167 supermarkets and employs nearly 18,000.