This week, Safeway’s head of the Eastern Division, Dan Valenzuela, according to the Washington Business Journal. He has left the company to “pursue other opportunities,” parent company Albertsons said, and the retailer has named Jim Perkins, already Albertsons' Executive Vice President of Retail Operations and Special Projects and President of the Acme Stores Division, as the new President of Safeway’s Eastern Division in Valenzuela’s stead.
Valenzuela’s departure comes just over a year after he assumed leadership of Safeway’s Eastern Division, making him the third executive in as many years to leave the post.
While an anonymous Safeway executive reported to sources that the division has seen some decline, the source also noted, optimistically, that Perkins "knows the business, understands the market, and connects with people on a very positive level."
Perkins has spent the last 30 years as a “pacesetting leader” in the grocery industry, the retailer noted on its website, adding that he has a passion for the grocery business.
Perkins first entered the industry as an Albertson’s courtesy clerk in 1982, developing into a key leader for throughout several areas of the country. Perkins left Albertsons to joined Giant Foods as a Regional Vice President, then returned to the Albertsons family in 2012 as the President of Acme Markets.
He has served as Vice President of Operations for Albertsons Inc., and Director of Operations for Albertsons LLC’s Southern Division, and was named to his EVP of Operations, East Region role in April 2015.
Safeway’s Eastern Division, now under Perkins’ care, encompasses 125 stores spanning Virginia, D.C., Maryland, Delaware, and Pennsylvania. And Albertsons operates stores under the Safeway, Acme, Albertsons, Jewel-Osco, Lucky, Shaws, and several other banners throughout the United States.