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Supervalu announced yesterday that it has hired Eric Claus, who served as CEO of A&P between 2005 and 2009, to be the new CEO of its Save-A-Lot chain. notes that Claus is charged with "shepherding Save-A-Lot’s potential spin-off or sale, which is valued to be more than $1.7 billion."

Claus succeeds Ritchie Casteel, who is stepping down as CEO, will remain as president.

The story notes that Claus "spent the last two years as chairman and CEO of Ontario-based Red Apple Stores, a value-based retail chain with 155 locations across Canada. He will assume the leadership role at Save-A-Lot on January 4, 2016."
KC's View:
I got to know Eric Claus a little bit back when he was at A&P. I'd spent a fair amount of time eviscerating the company's top management, and we spent a day together driving to stores and talking to front line employees ... and I have to admit that I walked away from the experience thinking that Claus might actually give the company a chance to succeed. Or at least survive. He seemed to have a plan, he was thinking both strategically and tactically, and I thought made a lot of sense.

But he didn't last there long enough to turn the company around, for reasons I've never really understood. (No surprise there. A&P's board made a lot of decisions I couldn't figure out.) Then, returning to Canada, Claus took over Red Apple and turned that company around in ways that obviously impressed the folks at Supervalu.

Save-A-Lot has challenges, not least the expansion of Aldi and the planned entry of Lidl in the US. But I think Eric Claus is a pretty good bet for "shepherding" Save-A-Lot, though I think the metaphor may be inaccurate. Claus doesn't strike me as a shepherd ... he's more of an extreme athlete type.