In his new role, Donald will have responsibility for the operations of the retailers’ more than 2,300 stores and will help drive the growth of the company’s growing omnichannel platform. Donald replaces Wayne Denningham, who retired earlier this year. Susan Morris, who was named Executive Vice President and Chief Operations Officer in January 2018, will continue in her role.
Donald is no stranger to Albertsons Cos. or to Rite Aid Corp., which have announced plans to merge. He previously held senior leadership roles at both Albertson’s Inc. and Safeway Inc., and also served as a member of Rite Aid’s board of directors from 2008 to 2013.
“Jim Donald has built an exceptional career in retail,” said Albertsons Cos. chairman and chief executive officer Bob Miller. “His knowledge of our company and industry is unmatched, and I know his contributions will be invaluable as we enter the next chapter of Albertsons Companies. We look forward to tapping his expertise in leading large consumer brands as we work every day to meet our customers’ needs, both in-store and online.”
Most recently, Donald served as chief executive officer of the hotel chain Extended Stay America from 2012 to 2015. From 2009 to 2011, Donald served as president and CEO of the food and pharmacy retailer Haggen Inc.
Before that he spent six years at Starbucks, working his way up from president of its North America Division to president and CEO of the corporation. Earlier in his career, Donald led Pathmark Stores Inc. and held a variety of senior management positions with Albertson’s Inc., Safeway Inc. and Walmart.
“Having first worked at Albertsons 42 years ago, I have watched as an insider and from afar how their keen focus on customer service maintained a solid foundation for their team through the years,” Donald said. “Their acquisitive nature combined with their recent innovation efforts and strong Own Brands portfolio have helped them to build an even stronger company today. I look forward to being a part of the team that takes this great company into the future and continues to serve the food, health, and wellness needs of today’s busy customers.”