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Supervalu yesterday announced a series of executive changes in its various businesses, in advance of the expected closing on March 18 of its deal to sell five banners to Cerberus Capital Management. In addition to making new appointments, the company announced the departure of Kevin Holt, president, Supervalu Retail; Tim Lowe, executive vice president, merchandising; and Michael Moore, executive vice president and chief marketing officer.

The changes include:

• Mark Van Buskirk has been named executive vice president, merchandising and marketing for Supervalu, "where he will be responsible for overseeing companywide retail merchandising and marketing efforts, along with directing Supervalu’s private brand offerings and retail pharmacy teams." Van Buskirk is a 20-year kroger veteran, most recently as vice president, meat and seafood merchandising and procurement.

• Rob Woseth, a 10-year Albertsons and Albertsons LLC veteran, has been named executive vice president, chief strategy officer, and will "focus on identifying strategic growth opportunities that support independent grocers, as well as working with banner leadership to build and maximize the company’s traditional and discount retail businesses."

• Steve Fox has been named senior vice president, food merchandising; Fox spent 41 years with Kroger's Fred Meyer division.

• Ritchie Casteel was named president/CEO of Save-A-Lot. the announcement notes that Casteel "has more than 40 years of experience in retail, including over 30 years in a variety of leadership positions with the original Albertsons Inc, where he finished his tenure as vice president of operations for Albertsons’ Intermountain West Division." Casteel succeeds Santiago Roces, who is leaving the company.

Supervalu said in its official announcement that following the transaction, Supervalu will retain five regional retail banners, which will be run by the following executives:

• Eric Hymas, most recently Supervalu's senior vice president of merchandising, has been named president of Shop 'N Save, succeeding Marlene Gebhard, who is leaving the company.

• Bill Parker has been named president, Farm Fresh, after serving for the past seven months in the role of interim president.

• Supervalu said that Brian Audette will continue as president of Cub Foods, Matt Leiseth will continue as president of Hornbacher’s, and Bob Bly will continue as president of Shoppers.

"We have much work to do, both today and after the transaction closes," CEO Sam Duncan said in a prepared statement, "but I am pleased with the new leadership team we are assembling and know together we will work tirelessly to improve our business and increase shareholder value.  I am energized by what I have seen every day and believe this company will be successful going forward."
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