In his new role, White will lead the company’s Own Brands team, including the Culinary Kitchen and Technical Center. He will be responsible for furthering the growth, development, and innovation of the company’s Own Brands products, including O Organics, Lucerne and Open Nature, as well as the extensive line of Signature products.
“Geoff is a visionary merchant who understands the evolution of our company’s Own Brands and the significant role they play in our overall strategy,” Shane Sampson, Albertsons executive vice president and chief marketing and merchandising officer, said in a statement. “Our Own Brand items are integral to how we earn customer loyalty. We’ve developed a nimble process that responds quickly to consumer trends with popular products over the last two years, and I’m excited to see how our team and brands further their development under Geoff’s leadership.”
White started as a general clerk in Burnaby, British Columbia in 1981 and went on to hold positions of increasing responsibility over the next 17 years, culminating in being named director of Canadian produce operations. In December 2004, White was named to a group director position at Safeway’s corporate office and was eventually promoted to vice president of produce. In 2010 he was named senior vice president, and over the next five years led several functions including dairy, frozen, deli/food service, branded concepts, produce and floral. In 2015, he was named the SVP of marketing and merchandising for the company’s Northern California division.
White will be based at the company’s Pleasanton, Calif., campus.
Withers, in his new position, will lead the company’s East Region operations, while current EVP for retail operations Susan Morris will lead the West Region. Jim Perkins, EVP, Retail Operations Special Projects, is focused on targeted initiatives to accelerate growth. All three executives will continue to report to Albertsons president and chief operating officer Wayne Denningham.
“Mike is an exceptional leader who understands our business and market areas from coast to coast,” Denningham said. “Throughout his career, Mike has worked closely with many members of our current leadership team, and his management experience and operations expertise will help all of our divisions run really great stores.”
Withers began his career with Albertsons in 1976 in Boise. Like many of the company’s executives, he started as a courtesy clerk and gradually worked his way up until he was running his own store. He served as district manager in both Washington and Florida and was eventually promoted to Big Sky Division president with responsibilities for store operations in Montana and North Dakota, a role he also held in both the Florida and Portland divisions. Since 2006, Withers has served as vice president of marketing and merchandising for the Florida and Southern divisions, and as president of the Southern and Jewel-Osco divisions.
Withers will based at the company’s Boise, Idaho, offices.