Safeway Announces Retirement of Chairman and CEO Steve Burd

Wed Jan 2, 2013 5:25pm EST

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PLEASANTON, Calif.,  Jan. 2, 2013  /PRNewswire/ -- Safeway Inc. (NYSE: SWY)
announced today that  Steve Burd, its long-time Chairman and CEO, will retire as
CEO and as a director at the Company's annual stockholders meeting on  May 14,
2013.  The Board of Directors will begin a search for a successor, and will
consider both internal and external candidates for the job.  Mr. Burd will help
with the search and will continue to assist the Company after he transitions out
of his leadership posts.

Mr. Burd joined Safeway in  October 1992  as President and was appointed CEO in
May of the following year.  As CEO, he has been responsible for transforming the
Company over an unprecedented 20 years at the helm.

Among some of his key initiatives were establishing a culture of thrift and
capital discipline, creating an industry-leading customer service program,
developing the "Lifestyle" store format, introducing a level of quality in
perishable products that had never been seen in food retailing, and forming a
leading prepaid payment network that has become one of the largest distributors
of gift cards in the world.  He also accelerated the Company's efforts in
charitable giving and sustainability.  During his tenure, the Company raised
more than  $2 billion  for charities, including over  $200 million  for cancer

Mr. Burd's arrival at Safeway, a largely unionized company, coincided with an
extraordinary growth in new food retail formats, virtually all of them
non-union.  These changes put downward pressure on both sales and margins, but
through strategic initiatives and cost reduction efforts, Safeway still managed
to outperform the S&P 500 over the last 20 years.  

Safeway has also become one of the nation's most recognized leaders in health
care.  In the last eight years, Safeway has introduced innovative design and
practice features into its health plans.  As a result, while the average U.S.
company experienced an 8 percent annual growth in employer health care costs
from 2005 through 2011, Safeway averaged a 2 percent annual growth rate for both
the employer and employee contributions.  

More recently, Safeway has introduced a unique digital marketing/loyalty
platform called  just for U.  This platform allows the Company to personalize
its prices to individual shoppers.  Safeway has also partnered with a technology
company to bring innovative health care services to Safeway's customers.

"I feel this is the right time to move forward with a transition plan," said Mr.
Burd.  "The Company is gaining market share with each passing quarter.  We have
developed the most sophisticated digital marketing platform in retail, we are
implementing the most comprehensive and personalized fuel loyalty program, and
we will be rolling out a wellness initiative that has the potential to transform
the Company."

"While I still have the high level of energy and enthusiasm I brought to the
Company 20 years ago," Mr. Burd added, "I need more personal time and, given my
extensive work in health care, I want to pursue that interest further."

"Steve has been an iconic leader and is one of the industry's most innovative
CEOs," said  Gary Rogers, the Company's Lead Independent Director.  "He will be
very difficult to replace.  As he moves to the next phase of his career, we hope
to continue to leverage his input and assistance as the Company moves ahead with
its exciting new programs."


Safeway Inc. is a Fortune 100 company and one of the largest food and drug
retailers in  North America, based on sales. The company operates 1,644 stores
in  the United States  and western  Canada  and had annual sales of  $43.6
billion  in 2011. The company's common stock is traded on the New York Stock
Exchange under the symbol SWY.  

This press release contains certain forward-looking statements within the
meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 21E of the
Securities Exchange Act of 1934.  Forward-looking statements are based on the
Company's current plans and expectations and involve risks and uncertainties
which are, in many instances, beyond the Company's control, and which could
cause actual results to differ materially from those included in or contemplated
or implied by the forward-looking statements.  The Company undertakes no
obligation to update forward-looking statements to reflect developments or
information obtained after the date hereof and disclaims any obligation to do
so.  Please refer to the Company's reports and filings with the Securities and
Exchange Commission, including its most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K, as
amended, subsequent Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q and subsequent Current
Reports on Form 8-K, for a further discussion of these risks and uncertainties.

Media:  Brian Dowling, 925-467-3787, 
Investors:  Melissa Plaisance, 925-467-3136,

SOURCE  Safeway Inc.
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