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New Beginnings: Five Executives to Watch in 2013

These five industry leaders have stepped into new roles of responsibility

The new year brings new responsibilities for some food retailing executives in key positions in the industry.

This year’s edition of SN’s Executives to Watch profiles five such individuals — some of whom are taking on dramatically different new roles at their current companies, such as James McCann of Ahold USA and Beth Newlands Campbell of Food Lion, some of whom were promoted to take on expanded responsibilities, such as Tammy DeBoer of Family Dollar and J.K. Symancyk of Meijer Inc., and one of whom, Sam Duncan of Supervalu, is joining a new company after retirement.

At Family Dollar, Delhaize America veteran DeBoer, senior vice president of food merchandising, is presiding over the fastest-growing categories at one of the fastest-growing chains in retailing. One of the key concerns for DeBoer is balancing price and margin. “We are very focused on keeping low prices on the products that matter the most to our customers,” she told SN.

Duncan, stepping out of retirement to become chief executive officer of a slimmed-down Supervalu, said he will be focused on driving sales growth at the company’s own regional banners, at its Save-A-Lot division and at the stores of its independent wholesale customers. “I’m very excited about the opportunities I see at Supervalu, [though] we have a lot of work ahead of us,” he told customers at a recent conference.

McCann steps into his post overseeing Ahold USA as chief operating officer at a time when that company’s chains are growing, and expanding their efforts to reach consumers through new online initiatives. “We’re not trying to catch up to the competition — we’re leading the competition,” he said at a recent Ahold investor conference.

At Food Lion, Newlands Campbell brings a history of success at its sister chain, Hannaford Bros. As president of the much larger Food Lion banner, she will be tasked with seeking to turn around the fortunes of a stalwart operator known for its low prices but increasingly under pressure from the economy and the likes of Wal-Mart and others.

Symancyk takes over as president of Meijer at a time when the company is pursuing aggressive growth in its core Midwest territory. “The company’s in a good position, but faces a whole new set of challenges around growth,” Symancyk told SN.

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