- The Save Mart Companies announced Wednesday it has appointed grocery industry veteran and former Albertsons CEO Robert G. Miller to its board of directors.
- Miller is the latest former Albertsons executive to join the grocery company, which operates roughly 200 stores under the Save Mart, Lucky California and FoodMaxx banners in California and Nevada as well as owns a transportation company.
- Save Mart said its appointment of Miller signals the grocery operator’s commitment to growth.
Save Mart is bringing on a new board member with extensive leadership experience in the grocery industry.
Miller got his start in the grocery industry at age 16 when he became a bottle sorter at his local Albertsons store and then moved up the ranks to become store manager. In 1979, Miller became an executive trainee and nine years later became executive vice president.
Miller departed Albertsons for Fred Meyer, where he served as CEO from 1991 to 1999, overseeing the Pacific Northwest grocery chain’s merger with Kroger. Following the merger, Miller briefly served as chief operating officer and vice chairman at Kroger.
From 1999 to 2003, Miller was chairman and CEO at Rite Aid. In 2004, Wild Oats, originally a chain of natural foods stores in the West and Southwest that later became a producer and distributor, named Miller non-executive chairman.
In 2006, Miller returned to Albertsons as CEO, where he guided the grocery company through its expansion from a regional chain to a national presence with the acquisitions of Supervalu and Safeway. Miller went on to serve as board chairman and then chairman emeritus for the company.
Even with his decades of top-level positions, the announcement notes that Miller is “most proud” of his role as a store manager.
“Bob’s expertise and passion for the grocery industry is legendary along with his unparalleled track record of being a growth-focused leader,” Shane Sampson, executive chairman of The Save Mart Companies’ board, said in a statement.
Sampson, a former Albertsons marketing chief, was named Save Mart’s executive chairman last April.
Last November, The Save Mart Companies hired Tamara Pattison, another Albertsons veteran, as senior vice president and chief digital officer. Pattison worked in marketing and loyalty roles at Safeway for nearly a decade before briefly serving as Albertsons’ senior vice president of digital marketing and e-commerce in early 2016, per Pattison’s LinkedIn profile.
The Save Mart Companies has been busy in recent months with an ongoing private brand expansion that includes adding “hundreds” of new items per year to existing and new lines.
Earlier last year, private equity firm Kingswood Capital Management bought The Save Mart Companies for an undisclosed amount. Following the acquisition, The Save Mart Companies has made a number of changes, including adding two-hour grocery delivery powered by Amazon in California’s Central Valley, opening its first small-format store with its Lucky location in San Francisco’s Bayview neighborhood and rolling out a video game-focused rewards program.
“I am incredibly grateful and honored to join The Save Mart Companies Board of Directors at a time when there is so much opportunity in the grocery industry for growth,” Miller said in a statement. “This company and its people exemplify the hard-working and passionate spirit of running great stores and serving their communities.”