HOW VONS CHOSE NEW EXECUTIVES

ARCADIA, Calif. -- Vons Cos. here, which had been searching for a successor to Roger Stangeland as chairman for several months, caught the industry by surprise when it announced in April the hiring of two of the top executives of American Stores Co., Salt Lake City.Stangeland told SN it was just good fortune that Vons was able to hire the two men -- Larry Del Santo and Richard Goodspeed -- at the

ARCADIA, Calif. -- Vons Cos. here, which had been searching for a successor to Roger Stangeland as chairman for several months, caught the industry by surprise when it announced in April the hiring of two of the top executives of American Stores Co., Salt Lake City.

Stangeland told SN it was just good fortune that Vons was able to hire the two men -- Larry Del Santo and Richard Goodspeed -- at the same time. Del Santo, as reported, was named vice chairman and chief executive officer of Vons, and Goodspeed was named president and chief operating officer.

"When we learned both Larry and Dick were interested, we thought it was a good idea to hire both of them," Stangeland said. "We originally felt we needed to find a new CEO first so he could be in on the choice of a new [chief operating officer]. But all of a sudden, the outside search firm we hired found both, and we thought it was a good idea to hire both."

Stangeland said he expects to step down as chairman of Vons in May 1995, at which time it is expected Del Santo will succeed him.

"With Larry and Dick, my company couldn't be in better hands," Stangeland said.