Supervalu names Mark Gross president, CEO

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He succeeds Sam Duncan, who is retiring

EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. — Supervalu Inc. announced on Wednesday the appointment of Mark Gross as president and chief executive officer, effective February 5.

Mark Gross

Mark Gross

Gross, 52, will succeed Sam Duncan, who is retiring at the end of this month.

Gross has more than two decades of experience in the grocery and wholesale industries. For the past 10 years he has led Surry Investment Advisors, a firm he founded to provide consulting services to grocery distributors and retailers.

“Mark is a talented, strategic and results-driven leader with a wealth of industry experience,” said Jerry Storch, Supervalu’s nonexecutive chairman. “We are extremely pleased that Mark will be leading Supervalu, and we look forward to working with him to drive the company’s performance.”

Supervalu said Duncan will step down from the board upon his retirement but will continue to serve as a special adviser to the board in order to facilitate a smooth transition.

“I am proud of all that we have accomplished these past three years and thankful for the opportunity I’ve had to lead this great company,” Duncan said in a statement. “Supervalu has tremendous employees, customers and licensees, and I leave here knowing the company is in good hands with a strong leadership team and a great foundation in place to build on.”

Gross will join the board on March 1.

“I am thrilled to join Supervalu,” Gross announced. “I am delighted to have the opportunity to help take the company to the next level and to work with the board and management team to set the strategic path for the future. I look forward to working with our great customers and the talented group of employees in this company, including working with Eric Claus as Supervalu continues to explore and prepare for a potential spin-off of Save-A-Lot.” Supervalu last month filed plans with regulators to spin off its hard-discount division Save-A-Lot as a public company.

From 1997 to 2006, Gross worked at C&S Wholesale Grocers, including a two-year stint as co-president. He also worked as the company’s chief financial officer, general counsel and president of the company’s affiliated retail grocery operations.

Gross earned his law degree from the University of Pennsylvania, graduating cum laude. He received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Dartmouth College, where he graduated with the highest honors in his major, Supervalu said.

Supervalu today also announced that chief operating officer Bruce Besanko will continue to oversee the day-to-day operations of the company’s independent business and retail food segments as well as its finance organization. He will report to Gross.



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