Vivek Sankaran, CEO of PepsiCo Foods North America, has been selected as the new president and CEO for Albertsons.
Current Albertsons president and CEO Jim Donald will become co-chairman of the board with Leonard Laufer, according to a news release.
Previous chairman Robert Miller, who preceded Donald as CEO, moves into a chairman emeritus role.
The moves are effective April 25.
“I’ve known Vivek for many years,” Miller said in the release. “He has always impressed me, not only with his exceptional work at Frito-Lay in managing the many facets of a multibillion-dollar food business, but also with his ability to work with and develop people. I couldn’t be happier to leave Albertsons Cos. in Vivek’s hands.”
Miller and Donald have both worked in retail for more than four decades, including long stretches at Albertsons.
Donald worked at Albertsons from 1976 to 1991 before being recruited to lead the development of Walmart’s grocery business and the supercenter concept. After stops at numerous other companies, Donald rejoined Albertsons in March 2018 as president and COO before being promoted to CEO later in the year.
“When I joined Albertsons Cos. in 2018, I found a company that had a strong decentralized operating model, a fantastic leadership team and incredible potential to be the four-walls and no-walls leader in the grocery industry,” Donald said in the release. “Over the past year, our team made our company’s nearly 2,300 stores even stronger as we sharpened our focus on the intersection of technology and service. I’m looking forward to the continued progress of the company under the seasoned leadership of Vivek. We continue to be well-positioned to serve the evolving needs of today’s customer, where, how and when they choose to shop with us.”
Like Miller, Donald gave Sankaran a ringing endorsement.
“Vivek brings a rare blend of CPG, retail, manufacturing, logistics, technology, and research and development to Albertsons Cos., all of which are key components to being a successful retailer in an omnichannel-driven environment,” Donald said in the release. “Moreover, Vivek has the keen understanding that the front line is directly linked to the bottom line, and I’m confident he will inspire and engage our 270,000 associates across our stores, support offices, manufacturing facilities and distribution centers.”