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Safeway announced yesterday that Peter Bocian, executive vice-president and head of corporate services and finance at JP Morgan Chase & Co., will be joining the company as its new CFO.

He succeeds Robert Edwards, who was promoted from the CFO role to the company presidency almost a year ago, but who had remained as finance chief while a replacement was sought.

Bocian previously has worked as CFO at Starbucks and CAO at Hewlett-Packard.

Safeway is undergoing a number of changes in the executive suite, as Steve Burd, the CEO for almost two decades, has announced that he will retire on May 14, 2013. A new CEO is being sought in a search said to be both internal and external.
KC's View:
I've been told two things about the search.

One is that Robert Edwards is the odds-on favorite to get the job.

The other is that while he is highly regarded, there is some feeling within the organization that what Safeway really needs in the top job is a great merchant, not another CEO from the finance side of the business.

And so, there are some internal concerns that Safeway will not take advantage of the moment to bolster itself where it needs to be strengthened.