MINNEAPOLIS — SuperValu Inc. has appointed Mark Gross as the company’s newest president and chief executive officer, effective Feb. 5. Mr. Gross will replace Sam Duncan, who announced his retirement in October.
“I am thrilled to join SuperValu,” Mr. Gross said. “I am delighted to have the opportunity to help take the company to the next level and to work with the board and management team to set the strategic path for the future.”
SuperValu also said that Mr. Duncan will be stepping down from the company’s board of directors effective with his retirement on Feb. 29. He will be a special adviser to the board until then to assist in a smooth changeover.
“I am proud of all that we have accomplished these past three years and thankful for the opportunity I’ve had to lead this great company,” Mr. Duncan said. “SuperValu has tremendous employees, customers and licensees and I leave here knowing the company is in good hands with a strong leadership team and a great foundation in place to build on.”
Additionally, the company said that Bruce Besanko, chief operating officer, will report to Mr. Gross and continue to oversee the day-to-day operations of the company’s independent business and retail food segments as well as the company’s finance organization.
Mr. Gross, 52, comes from Surry Investment Advisors, a firm he founded, to provide consulting services to grocery distributors and retailers with respect to strategic and operational matters. In this advisory role, he has assisted grocery clients on several multi-billion dollar acquisitions and divestitures. He also consulted with private equity firms with respect to investments in food retail, distribution, and consumer packaged goods sectors.SuperValu is one of the largest grocery wholesalers and retailers in the United States. The company serves customers through a network of 3,407 stores composed of 1,871 independent stores serviced primarily by the company's food distribution business; 1,336 Save-A-Lot stores, of which 883 are operated by licensee owners; and 200 traditional retail grocery stores.