Published on: March 5, 2018
Albertsons announced this morning that Jim Donald - who started with the retailer more than four decades ago and since has run companies as diverse as Pathmark, Starbucks, Haggen and Extended Stay Hotels - is joining the company as president/COO, effective immediately.
Donald will report to Albertsons chairman/CEO Bob Miller.
The move comes as Albertsons embarks on the acquisition of drug chain Rite Aid, which when completed will result in a company that has approximately 4,900 locations, 4,350 pharmacy counters, and 320 clinics across 38 states and Washington, D.C., serving 40+ million customers per week, and with an estimated value of $24 billion.
When the Rite Aid deal was announced, it was said that Rite Aid Chairman/CEO John Standley will become CEO of the combined company, with current Albertsons Companies Chairman/CEO Bob Miller serving as Chairman. For the time being, Donald’s responsibilities will be to focus on Albertsons’ existing retail businesses, which include Safeway, Jewel Osco, Vons, Shaws, and Market Street.
It its coverage this morning, the Wall Street Journal
quotes Miller as saying that “Mr. Donald’s decades of experience at many different kinds of retailers will help him stitch together Albertsons’s and Rite Aid’s disparate businesses. ‘The skills he’s acquired by doing those things will be a plus,’ Mr. Miller said.’’
Albertsons is owned by an investment consortium led by Cerberus Capital Management, along with Kimco Realty Corporation, Klaff Realty, Lubert-Adler Partners, and Schottenstein Stores Corporation. The Journal
writes that “executives believe the combined company will benefit from selling shoppers everything from migraine medication to meal-kits in one store. Customers who shop for groceries while picking up prescriptions spend more than three times more than supermarket shoppers who only buy groceries, according to figures that Albertsons executives presented recently to shareholders.”
In 1991, Donald ran Walmart’s then-new grocery business, and subsequently went to Safeway as head of its eastern division. From there he went to Pathmark, where he guided it through bankruptcy and then an IPO. Donald joined Starbucks in 2002, first as president of North America and then as CEO. In 2009 he joined Haggen, guiding it through bankruptcy, and then became CEO of Extended Stay Hotels, where he took the company public. Donald left Extended Stay in 2015.
In 2006, Donald was named one of the “Top 25 CEO’s in the World” by the Best Practice Institute. He also has served on Rite Aid’s board of directors.