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Safeway appoints interim president at Vons
January 20th, 2012
PLEASANTON, Calif. – Tom Keller, president of Safeway Inc.'s Vons division, plans to retire next month after over four decades in the food retailing industry.
Safeway said Friday that it has named Gary Rocheleau, vice president of retail merchandising execution, to lead the Vons business on an interim basis. Keller is slated to retire effective Feb. 1.
The company noted that Rocheleau has deep knowledge of the southern California market and has served in a wide range of corporate and retail positions at Safeway. He also is a long-time Vons executive.
The Vons chain has nearly 280 supermarkets in southern California.
Keller has served as Vons president since 1999. He started his career at Safeway as a food clerk in the company's Phoenix division and climbed through the retail ranks to more senior roles in various company regions such as Seattle; Portland, Ore.; and northern California. He left Safeway in 1991 to join Purity Supermarkets in Massachusetts as president and chief operating officer before that chain merged with Stop & Shop. He rejoined Safeway in 1998 as vice president and retail operations manager in the northern California division.
"Tom leaves an important imprint on the organization as an energetic and innovative leader," Safeway chairman and chief executive officer Steve Burd said in a statement. "We gratefully acknowledge his considerable and varied contributions to the success of our company and wish him the best in the years ahead."