Supervalu CEO Sam Duncan Announces Retirement Plans for February 2016

Thu. October 1st, 2015 - by Jordan Okumura

MINNEAPOLIS, MN - Supervalu has just announced President and CEO Sam Duncan will be retiring from his positions on February 29, 2016, following the end of the Company’s fiscal year.

Sam Duncan, President and CEO, SuperValu

“SUPERVALU is a terrific organization and we have accomplished a great deal together during the past two and one-half years,” said Duncan. “I am also looking forward to finishing the year strong and continuing to drive sales and cash through my remaining time at the Company, as well as providing time and support to ensure a smooth transition for my successor. After 46 years in the grocery and retail business, this is a bittersweet moment, but I am also excited by the opportunity to have more time for my family and personal interests following my retirement."


Duncan has served as President and CEO of the company since February 2013 following its sale of five retail grocery banners to Albertsons. Under Duncan’s leadership and direction, Supervalu has repositioned its three core business segments: Independent Business, Save-A-Lot and its five remaining regional Retail Food banners, as well as helped deliver increases in shareholder value. According to a press release, Duncan at 63, is retiring to spend more time with his family in the Pacific Northwest.

Jerry Storch, Non-Executive Chairman of the Board, Supervalu“Sam has made a tremendous contribution to Supervalu during his tenure as President and CEO,” said Jerry Storch, Non-Executive Chairman of the Board. “He helped stabilize the business following the sale of the five retail grocery banners and has led a turnaround in the performance of the entire company including improving the performance of all three of its core business segments. The Company is in a better place today because of Sam’s leadership. The Board is very grateful and appreciative for Sam’s contributions to the Company.” 

Storch also confirmed that the Board has already begun the process for naming the next CEO, and is considering both internal and external candidates

Bruce Besanko, EVP & COO, SupervaluAlong with the revelation of Duncan’s announcement, Supervalu has also noted that Bruce Besanko has been promoted to the newly-created role of Executive Vice President, Chief Operating Officer, who will now report to Sam Duncan. Susan Grafton has also been promoted to Executive Vice President, Chief Financial Officer, and will report to Bruce Besanko. Both appointments are effective immediately.  


In his role as Chief Operating Officer, Besanko will have oversight of finance and the company’s independent business operations, five regional Retail Food banners, and the company’s merchandising, marketing, and pharmacy functions, according to a press release. 

“I’m very pleased that Bruce has been promoted to the role of COO for our Company,” commented Duncan. “He has done a superb job as CFO for Supervalu, working with me and the leadership team on all aspects of the Company’s turnaround success. In this role, I am confident he’ll help lead our operations teams to successfully plan and execute against our future business strategies.”

Susan Grafton, EVP & CFO, SupervaluDuncan also commented on Grafton’s new role, explaining that she has a tremendous financial background and has been instrumental in helping the company reposition its financial organization and the overall business. 

The company also confirmed that this announcement will not impact its continued exploration of a separation of its Save-A-Lot business.