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Longtime Supervalu executive Pete Van Helden is leaving the Minneapolis-based company after 34 years and will be succeeded by former Meijer executive Kevin Holt, who will join Supervalu as EVP of retail operations in late May.
Describing the move “as a mutually beneficial decision that comes at the right time for both Supervalu and Van Helden,” Craig Herkert, Supervalu’s president and CEO, praised the departing company veteran’s acumen and dedication as “a passionate leader of our retail businesses for many years. Beginning his career with Albertsons in 1978, Van Helden…ran stores, drove integration after corporate mergers and acquisitions, and set strategy for the retail divisions,” said Herkert. “We will miss his active voice in our company and wish him all the best as he takes on new challenges outside of Supervalu.”
Kevin Holt, 53, a former Meijer, Inc., executive who has significant experience leading teams in similar turnaround environments, will join Supervalu as EVP of retail operations at the end of this month and will work closely with Van Helden to ensure a smooth transition. Supervalu noted Holt’s strong record of helping businesses streamline costs and enhancing retail execution while strengthening employee morale.
During his 13-year career with Meijer, Holt held a number of leadership positions, including roles in information technology and strategic planning. After leaving Meijer as EVP of retail operations in 2007, Holt spent three years with Sears Holding Co., where he went on to become EVP and president of stores. Holt most recently served as president of Hudsonville Ice Cream and Kilwin’s Quality Confections in Michigan.
“Kevin is a seasoned retail executive who understands the importance of combining enterprise leverage, merchandising and passionate customer-focused execution. He has broad experience improving company performance and knows how to build strong retail teams,” said Herkert, adding: “We believe he has the right blend of experience to help Supervalu deliver on the promise of its business transformation, which involves investing in fair prices and delivering a differentiated hyperlocal retail experience.”