Safeway's finance chief adds president to role

PLEASANTON, Calif. — Safeway on Monday evening promoted Robert Edwards to president of the company. Edwards had served as Safeway's EVP and CFO since 2004.

"Robert is one of those unusual executives with a strong command of both the financial and operational sides of our business," Safeway chairman and CEO Steve Burd said. "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. His assumption of these new duties provides me an opportunity to concentrate more of my time on innovation and a range of strategic initiatives that will drive core and noncore business growth in the long term."

Edwards, 56, will have overall responsibility for the company's retail operations, marketing, merchandising, corporate brands, manufacturing, distribution and finance functions. He will continue as CFO until a successor is named to the position.

The company also announced that Larree Renda, 53, EVP, will assume additional responsibilities for real estate and information technology, in addition to 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," Burd said. "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 served as EVP and CFO at Maxtor and was SVP, CFO and CAO at Imation. Prior to that, Edwards had a 20-year career at Santa Fe Southern Pacific Corp. and its affiliates.  He currently serves on the Boards of Blackhawk Network Holdings, Casa Ley, S.A. de C.V., Safeway's joint venture in Mexico, and KKR Financial Holdings.

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 retail and advanced through a succession of more senior leadership roles to her current position as EVP. Renda chairs the Safeway Foundation board of directors and serves on the board of Casa Ley. She is also on the board of HSBC Finance Corp. and HSBC North America Holdings. Renda is a trustee on the National Joint Labor Management Committee.