Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Leadership Shake-Up at Save-A-Lot and Shop 'N Save

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Leadership Shake-Up at Save-A-Lot and Shop 'N Save

Article excerpt

Just a month into his tenure, the new chief executive of Supervalu is shaking up top management at the company, including naming new leaders for Earth City-based Save-A-Lot and Kirkwood- based Shop n Save.

Eric Hymas, senior vice president of merchandising for Supervalu, replaces Marlene Gebhard, who has been at the helm of Shop n Save for more than a decade. Ritchie Casteel succeeds Santiago Roces, who came in less than two years ago to lead Save-A-Lot.

Both Gebhard and Roces will remain with the company over the next several weeks during the transition, Supervalu said Monday. The incoming and outgoing executives were unavailable for comment, the company said.

But analysts said Supervalu needs to do a lot more than just change leaders to improve its fortunes.

Theyre probably trying to look for some turnaround specialists to make things better, said David Livingston, a Wisconsin-based supermarket consultant. But they have a massive amount of debt. And they have some retail concepts that dont seem to be resonating with the consumer. So just having some new people in there isnt going to change that fact.

He added that he expects other executives to jump ship or be shown the door of the troubled company in the weeks to come.

The leadership changes come as new Supervalu chief Sam Duncan, the former CEO of OfficeMax, is working to turn around the struggling grocery company amid competition from the likes of Wal- Mart Stores and Target.

In January, Supervalu announced it was selling four of its grocery chains, including Jewel-Osco and Albertsons, to an investor group led by Cerberus Capital Management. That deal is expected to be completed the week of March 18.

The company has said it plans to focus on its wholesale business (which now makes up about half of its business), the discount Save- A-Lot chain, with 1,329 stores, and five regional chains, including Shop n Save and Cub Foods, that have a total of 191 stores.

Supervalu employs about 4,000 people in the St. …

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