- Chris Rupp, executive vice president and chief customer and digital officer of Albertsons, is leaving the supermarket chain to become chief customer officer of Victoria’s Secret & Co., according to a Tuesday press release from the women’s intimate apparel retailer.
- Rupp has helped oversee a series of key initiatives for Albertsons, including its e-commerce operations and loyalty program, since joining the grocer in 2019. At Victoria’s Secret, Rupp will be in charge of “creating a seamless store and digital commerce business globally and will be accountable for sales and profitability across both channels,” according to the announcement.
- Albertsons is losing a top executive as the company moves through a strategic review process intended to boost growth and enhance its value.
Rupp has had a hand in some of Albertsons’ most high-profile activities during her time with the grocer, lending her deep experience as a technology specialist to the company’s efforts to transform into a digitally savvy food retailer.
A former Amazon executive who helped launch the e-commerce giant’s Prime Day and Fulfillment by Amazon initiatives before moving on to Microsoft, Rupp arrived at Albertsons shortly after the company hired Vivek Sankaran as its chief executive. Rupp’s responsibilities at Albertsons have included directing its efforts to use data to build customer engagement through programs like its Albertsons for U shopper loyalty program and its FreshPass grocery delivery membership service.
Under her leadership, Albertsons has expanded its reliance on third-party delivery platforms while scaling back its owned delivery program. The company has also rapidly expanded its pickup service, Drive Up & Go, to more than 2,000 stores.
Rupp spearheaded innovative new initiatives, like Albertsons’ partnership with tech startup Firework to create short-form videos and other online content, and a deal with Pinterest to allow customers to add ingredients they encounter on the image-sharing platform to their digital cart.
In addition, Albertsons hired its first chief data officer, former American Express data official Danielle Crop, during Rupp’s tenure.
Albertsons confirmed Rupp’s departure in an SEC filing, noting that she will be leaving effective July 31 and will remain an employee through that point “to assist with the transition.”
Albertsons has brought on other senior executives with technology backgrounds since Rupp came on board, including Sharon McCollam, a retired former executive at retailers Best Buy and Williams-Sonoma who joined the grocer last summer as president and chief financial officer. In 2020, Albertsons named Omer Gajial, a former Amazon and PepsiCo executive, as senior vice president of pharmacy and health.
In a post on LinkedIn, Rupp noted that she has elected to join Victoria’s Secret as that retailer goes through a corporate restructuring and indicated she relishes the opportunity to take on a new challenge after helping Albertsons navigate the pandemic.
“We made incredible progress, opening up access to delivery and drive up services in hundreds of communities and on new platforms…. and that was just the beginning,” Rupp wrote in the post. “A couple of years later - we have delivered so many great experiences to our customers, I couldn’t be more proud. So it is time for me to move on to the next adventure.”
This story has been updated with information on Chris Rupp’s departure date from Albertsons.