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Supervalu Inc. said it will declassify its board of directors beginning with the 2009 annual stockholders meeting.
The declassification will result in the Minneapolis-based retailer's directors being elected annually for terms expiring at the next annual meeting of stockholders. Directors whose term expires at the 2010 or 2011 annual stockholders' meetings will continue to hold office until the end of the term for which they were elected.
Continuing onward after the2011 annual meeting, all directors will stand for election annually, Supervalu said.
"The board and management are committed to the highest standard of corporate governance at Supervalu," said Jeff Noddle, chairman/c.e.o of Supervalu Inc. of the change.
According to investopedia.com, the classified board structure is seen as offering continuity of direction and preservation of skill, but has come under harsh criticism from shareholder advocacy groups. Opponents to the classified structure argue that the system breeds board member complacency and forces directors to develop close relations with management.
With estimated annual sales of $45 billion, Supervalu holds leading market share positions across the U.S. with its approximately 2,475 retail grocery locations. Supervalu's national supply chain network also provides distribution and related logistics support services to more than 5,000 grocery endpoints across the country.