Burd Apologizes to Clinton, Pelosi

Steve BurdPLEASANTON, Calif. — Steve Burd [3] (right), chairman and chief executive officer of Safeway [4] here, has sent a letter of apology to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and former Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi for a joke the chain's general counsel made at last week's annual meeting, according to published reports.

The letter from Burd was in addition to a letter reportedly sent to both women by Robert Gordon, who made the joke.

Related story: Safeway Battles Image on Two Fronts [5]

According to the San Francisco Chronicle, Burd's letter read as follows: "You may have heard about the regrettable attempt at humor ... at our recent annual meeting. Mr. Gordon has sent a letter of apology directly to both of you. I simply wanted to express to you how sorry I am for what occurred. The joke was inappropriate, and I deeply regret this has obscured the respect we hold for you and for your service to our nation.

"We intend to do all we can to prevent something like this from happening in the future. Again, please accept my apology."

Burd's letter followed comments by George Miller, a Democratic congressman who represents the Bay Area, who led a delegation of local lawmakers that called for Safeway to apologize to Clinton and Pelosi among other "corrective steps" for the "shocking lack of respect, not only for two of the most important and respected people in our country but for all women."