- Albertsons has appointed Sharon McCollam, a retired former executive at retailers Best Buy and Williams-Sonoma, to be president and chief financial officer of the supermarket chain, effective Sept. 7, according to a Tuesday morning press release.
- McCollam succeeds Bob Dimond, who is retiring from his role as executive vice president and chief financial officer of Albertsons after seven years in that position and 33 years in the grocery industry.
- Albertsons is shaking up its executive suite as the supermarket operator tunes up its digital operations in an effort to power growth.
Albertsons' successful effort to convince McCollam to come out of retirement for a second time five years after leaving Best Buy emphasizes the importance the grocery chain is placing on putting someone with technology experience in a top managerial position.
Underscoring the responsibility Albertsons is vesting in its new executive, McCollam is assuming the position of president — a title that currently belongs to Vivek Sankaran, Albertsons' CEO and her new boss — in addition to taking over as CFO. McCollam will oversee areas including corporate strategy, supply chain operations and information technology in addition to finance.
"Sharon is well-known for her expertise in retail operations and digital growth strategies as well as her passion for building customer-centric cultures," Sankaran said in a statement. "I look forward to working closely with her to architect the evolution of our strategy and create value for all of our stakeholders."
Sankaran highlighted the emphasis Albertsons is placing on its digital operations during its first-quarter earnings call on July 29. The company is seeing customers that make purchases online and in-store spend at double the rate of people who only make purchases in its supermarkets, Sankaran said during the call.
McCallam served until 2016 as executive vice president, chief administrative and chief financial officer of Best Buy. Albertsons specifically pointed to McCollam's experience in building Best Buy's omnichannel presence in announcing her appointment.
As one of the first major hires by then-Best Buy CEO Hubert Joly in 2012, McCollam took on a pivotal role in the retailer's turnaround, improving several areas of the then-struggling company, including supply-chain management and online sales. "Sharon came out of retirement in 2012 to help revitalize the company when it was facing a multifaceted crisis," Joly said in a 2016 statement.
McCollam earlier served in several roles at Williams-Sonoma, culminating with her position as chief operating officer and CFO of the kitchen-goods retailer. She retired from the company in 2012.
Before joining Williams-Sonoma, McCollam worked at Dole Fresh Vegetables, where she was vice president and controller from 1993 until she became CFO in 1996.
McCollam's hiring continues a recent string of top-level appointments by Albertsons. In April, the chain named former American Express executive Danielle Crop as its first chief data officer. Last September, Albertsons selected Omer Gajial, who previously served in executive roles at Amazon and PepsiCo, to be senior vice president of pharmacy and health.
Diamond joined Albertsons in February 2014 and was part of a slate of executives selected to run the company ahead of its formation in 2015 as a result of Albertsons' merger with Safeway. He will remain as an advisor to the company until February.