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Supervalu reshapes board of directors

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MINNEAPOLIS — Supervalu Inc. plans to make changes to the size and composition of its board of directors.

Supervalu Inc. plans to make changes to the size and composition of its board of directors.

The supermarket retailer and wholesaler said Tuesday that, after a "deliberative review," it aims to reduce the board’s membership from 15 to 12 directors, add two new directors to bring new perspectives to the board’s oversight of the company, and name a nonexecutive chairman.

Five board members are leaving the company, according to Supervalu. As planned following his 2009 retirement announcement, Jeff Noddle, 63, current chairman and former chief executive officer of Supervalu, is slated to retire as of the company’s annual meeting in June. Lawrence Del Santo, 76, a director since 1997 and lead director since 2006, and Garnett Keith, 74, also are retiring from the board effective at the meeting.

In addition, A. Gary Ames, 65, and Marissa Peterson, 48, whose terms are set to expire in 2011, voluntarily resigned from the board effective April 14, Supervalu said.

The board also announced that it’s nominating Matthew Rubel, 52, chairman, CEO and president of footwear, accessory and lifestyle brand company Collective Brands Inc. (owner of Payless ShoeSource), and Donald Chappel, 58, senior vice president and chief financial officer of The Williams Cos., an energy transmission company, to stand for election as directors at the annual meeting.

And after the annual meeting, the board plans to name Wayne Sales, 60, retired vice chairman of Canadian Tire Corp. and a Supervalu director since the Albertsons acquisition in 2006, to the newly created position of nonexecutive chairman.

"The board is grateful for the leadership that Jeff and Larry have provided and the important contributions of all of our directors," Sales said in a statement. "These include, most recently, their execution of a successful transition to new leadership under [Supervalu CEO] Craig Herkert, the guidance they have provided to help Supervalu navigate through the recent economic environment while maintaining its focus on long-term value creation, and their dedication to the highest standards of board governance."

Supervalu added that with the completion of the changes, 11 of its 12 board directors will be independent directors under the New York Stock Exchange listing standards.


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