- Albertsons has named Kevin Turner vice chairman of the board of managers of Albertsons direct corporate parent AB Acquisition LLC, and senior advisor to Albertsons Chairman & CEO Bob Miller, according to Progressive Grocer.
- Turner formerly worked for Microsoft, where he helped lead the company’s cloud services rollout and the sales and marketing of its Office 365 software. Turner also worked at Walmart, where from 2002 to 2005 he served as CEO and president of Sam's Club and EVP of Walmart Stores Inc.
- "Albertsons Cos. is building out its digital marketing and information technology teams to ensure we are best positioned to capitalize on the dynamic changes occurring in our marketplace," Bob Miller, Albertsons’ CEO, said in the release.
In a recent interview with the Idaho Statesman, Albertsons CEO Bob Miller said the company is looking to aggressively expand its online ordering and home delivery service in Albertsons stores across the nation. In markets like Chicago, where its Jewel-Osco stores lead market share, there’s an opportunity to solidify its standing with customers and gain new ones as well.
Savvy hires are an important part of Miller’s and Albertsons’ strategy. The company’s decentralized approach emphasizes finding the right people for key positions, and letting them go to work. On the e-commerce side, the company has hired top talent for its development team, including Narayan Iyengar, who formerly worked for Disney. Albertsons also recently picked up two key hires from struggling retailers: Karl Varsanyi, a former vice president with Macy’s, now general vice president of digital product management for Albertsons; and Ramiya Iyer, formerly head of e-commerce at Levi’s, now Albertsons’ general vice president of IT digital and marketing/merchandising.
With more than 10 years at Microsoft, Kevin Turner brings more experience to Albertsons from outside the grocery industry. This fresh perspective, joined with that of Albertsons' other hires, could help the company implement a user-friendly ordering system and interface. It may also help Albertsons think outside the box on home delivery, which has so far proven highly inefficient for retailers.
Albertsons, which reportedly made a bid for Whole Foods, could have its hands full with the natural and organic retailer once it’s backed by Amazon. Many expect the e-commerce giant to use Whole Foods’ stores as distribution hubs for home delivery and pickup. Observers are also betting Amazon will develop e-commerce solutions that will set the pace for the industry.
But don’t count Albertsons out. The company, which over the past five years has gone from 200 stores and $4 billion in sales to more than 2,300 stores and $60 billion in annual sales, isn’t afraid to go big, and is savvy enough to succeed.