Retail News Breaks
Stater Bros. names new president, COO
April 15th, 2013
SAN BERNARDINO, Calif. – Stater Bros. Markets has appointed Peter Van Helden as president and chief operating officer, succeeding Jim Lee, who will retire effective June 1. Van Helden will report to chairman and chief executive officer Jack Brown.
Van Helden most recently held the post of executive vice president of retail operations for Supervalu Inc. Before that, he was president and CEO of the California Food Division of Albertsons Inc. prior to its acquisition by Supervalu in 2006.
At Albertsons, Van Helden enjoyed a 35-year career that included a variety of leadership positions in operations, merger integration and dual branding. As head of the California Food Division, he oversaw more than 500 stores and 41,000 associates. Prior to taking that position, Van Helden was president of Albertsons’ Jewel-Osco Division.
"Pete is a well-respected and longtime food industry executive," said Brown. "I am confident that he will do an outstanding job as president and chief operating officer and will be valuable to the future growth of Stater Bros."
Lee joined Stater Bros. in 2002 as group senior vice president of retail operations and was promoted in January 2006 to the role of executive vice president of retail operations and administration. He was then promoted to his current position of president and COO, with responsibility for the chain’s day-to-day operations, in September 2006.
Lee’s grocery career began with Ralphs Grocery Co. in 1972 as a clerk’s helper. In the course of 25 years at Ralphs he rose through a succession of leadership positions including store manager, district manager, vice president of store operations administration, and vice president of store operations for the Northern and Southern Divisions. His last position with Ralphs was group vice president of the Central Division, which generated the highest sales volume in the company.
Prior to joining Stater Bros., Lee was president and COO of Wild Oats Markets Inc., based in Boulder, Colo., from 1996 to 2001.
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