PLEASANTON, Calif., Jan. 20, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Safeway announced today that Tom Keller, President of the company's Vons Division, will retire after more than 40 years of distinguished service in the food industry. He will leave his post on February 1. Gary Rocheleau, currently Vice President, Retail Merchandising Execution, will lead the Vons Division on an interim basis.
Mr. Keller has been President of Vons since 1999. He started his career at Safeway as a food clerk in the company's Phoenix Division. He rose through the retail ranks taking on a range of progressively more senior assignments in a number of geographies including Seattle, Portland and Northern California. Mr. Keller left Safeway in 1991 to join Purity Supermarkets in Massachusetts, as President and Chief Operating Officer prior to the merger with Stop and Shop. He rejoined Safeway in 1998 as Vice President, Retail Operations Manager in Safeway's Northern California division.
"Tom leaves an important imprint on the organization as an energetic and innovative leader," said Steve Burd, Safeway Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer. "We gratefully acknowledge his considerable and varied contributions to the success of our company and wish him the best in the years ahead."
Mr. Rocheleau is a well-respected leader within Safeway with deep knowledge of the Southern California market. He is a long-time Vons executive, and has held a broad range of positions at Safeway at both the retail and the corporate level.
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Safeway Inc. is a Fortune 100 company and one of the largest food and drug retailers in North America, based on sales. The company operates 1,681 stores in the United States and western Canada and had annual sales of $41.1 billion in 2010. The company's common stock is traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol SWY.
CONTACT: Teena Massingill, 925-467-3810, Teena.Massingill@Safeway.com
SOURCE Safeway Inc.