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Safeway Names Edwards President

PLEASANTON, Calif. — Safeway here said Monday it has named Robert Edwards president of the chain, succeeding Steve Burd, who remains chairman and chief executive officer.

Edwards has been executive vice president and chief financial officer since 2004. He will continue as CFO until a successor is named to that post, Safeway said.

"Robert is one of those unusual executives with a strong command of both the financial and operational sides of our business," Burd said in a statement. “His deep engagement with our operations and marketing units while he has been CFO will make for a seamless transition to Robert's new role.”

Burd said Edwards’ assumption of new responsibilities would allow the longtime chairman and CEO “an opportunity to concentrate more of my time on innovation and a range of strategic initiatives that will drive core and non-core business growth in the long term.”

The company also said that Larree Renda, 53, executive vice president, will assume additional responsibilities for real estate (including property development centers) and information technology, which adds to her current duties managing human resources and labor relations, strategic initiatives, corporate social responsibility, government relations, public affairs and Safeway Health.

"We are taking one of our most productive and talented executives and broadening her duties to include oversight of two key functions," said Burd. "Both of these changes to our management structure will further strengthen our senior team and our ability to deliver sustainable growth."

Before joining Safeway, Edwards was EVP and CFO at Maxtor Corp., and was SVP, CFO and chief accounting officer at Imation Corp. Prior to that, he had a 20-year career at Santa Fe Southern Pacific Corp. and its affiliates.

Renda began her career at retail with Safeway in 1974. After progressing through the store ranks, she joined the corporate team in 1991 as VP of retail and advanced through a succession of more senior leadership roles to her current position as EVP.

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