Inside This Issue - News
Safeway’s Burd set to retire
January 21st, 2013
PLEASANTON, Calif. – Steve Burd, longtime chairman and chief executive officer at Safeway Inc., will retire in May as he seeks additional personal time and pursues his work in health care.
Burd joined Safeway as president 20 years ago and was named CEO shortly after. He is credited with establishing “a culture of thrift and capital discipline at the company” and is known for such initiatives as a prepaid payment network that has become a major distributor of gift cards.
“The company is gaining market share with each passing quarter. We have developed the most sophisticated digital marketing platform in retail, we are implementing the most comprehensive and personalized fuel loyalty program, and we will be rolling out a wellness initiative that has the potential to transform the company,” said Burd, who will continue to assist the company after he retires from his roles on May 14 at the company’s annual stockholders meeting.
During the Burd era Safeway has become one of the nation’s most recognized leaders in health care.
In the last eight years Safeway has introduced innovative design and practice features into its health plans. As a result, while the average U.S. company experienced an 8% annual growth in employer health care costs from 2005 through 2011, Safeway notes it averaged a 2% annual growth rate for both the employer and employee contributions.
More recently, Safeway has introduced a digital marketing/loyalty platform called “just for U.” This platform allows the company to personalize its prices to individual shoppers. Safeway has also partnered with a technology company to bring innovative health care services to its customers.
“Steve has been an iconic leader and is one of the industry’s most innovative CEOs,” said Gary Rogers, the company’s lead independent director. “He will be very difficult to replace.”