Struggling Supervalu ousts Herkert as CEO

  • Article by: MIKE HUGHLETT , Star Tribune
  • Updated: July 30, 2012 - 8:52 PM

Grocery operator's results fell steadily before it put itself up for sale; new chief exec is Wayne Sales.

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jpcooperJul. 30, 1210:10 AM

Where you a CEO and you dont produce you get replaced!

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gwbuddyJul. 30, 1210:34 AM

I don't think that Supervalu's new CEO can do much more than Craig Herkert did. The company's stores are facing fierce competition and generate inadequate profits to pay off the suffocating debt from the ill-fated Albertson's aquisition. Bankruptcy might be Supervalu's best option. It would give the new CEO a chance to erase the company's debt and make it more attractive to potential buyers.

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felsiteJul. 30, 1210:35 AM

A good friend has been laid off from SuperValu after 14 yrs on the job with latest shake up. He'll get a severance package that will pale in comparison to what a 3 yr CEO will get for screwing up the company.

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trudgeJul. 30, 1211:23 AM

Jeff Noodle's legacy: not so good. Great lessons here. First, don't want something so bad that you make an emotional stupid decision to get it (Albertson's). Second, it's better to be on the Albertson's side of that kind of deal. Third, stick to your core business and do it better than anyone else. Noodle?!?

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justaxnspendJul. 30, 1211:24 AM

Bst wishes to the new CEO! I hope he can turn the company around and save jobs!!

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poppins777Jul. 30, 1211:48 AM

Success in the food business in today's market is much more than just fair pricing. Without energetic customer service, a bright, clean and friendly atmosphere and an excellent array of fresh, customer convenient take out selections you're in big trouble. Most of the Cub stores can't compete in any of these areas with their competiton. They're old and dingy, the employees are unfriendly (probably because it's all but impossible to get rid of crotchety old union personel) and their fresh selections are very poor. You have to do more than just print up a bunch of coupons and stick them in the Sunday paper these days to attract customers. It's a lot more than price! It's about the "customer experience" and that's where Super Valu fails badly.

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ddellwoJul. 30, 1212:01 PM

In my market (Houston, TX) Kroger is generally seen as one of the most expensive options for grocery purchases. In fact, Kroger is generally so expensive that I will only shop there if the item I am looking for can only be found in their stores. All I can say is that if SuperValu is routinely priced higher than Kroger, they have got some SERIOUS issues.....lol

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fwallenJul. 30, 1212:20 PM

The challenges that confront SV are great. Changing CEO's will not make a difference other than adding more cost to a struggling company. Debt and massive debt have strangled stronger companies. So many times successful small to medium sized businesses fail because they want to borrow their way to big success only to fail. I'm sad for all the people who are hurt because of SV's management blunders

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william16Jul. 30, 12 1:01 PM

Craig Herkert was chief of Latin American ops for Wal-Mart when Wal-Mart paid at least $24 million in bribes in Mexico to expand its ops and achieve market dominance. Herkert reportedly knew of the bribery campaign in 2005, but did not act on it or publicize it. The Wal-Mart bribery scandal had not yet come to light in 2009, when SuperValu hired Herkert as CEO. Now that the NY Times broke news of the scandal this year, Wal-Mart faces potentially billions in fines, and current/past Wal-Mart execs face potential criminal charges. Thus, it made even less sense for SuperValu to continue to employ a tainted CEO, especially given SuperValu's dismal performance of late. That's an important angle to this story.

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voiceofreasnJul. 30, 12 1:07 PM

gwbuddy - "The company's stores are facing fierce competition and generate inadequate profits to pay off the suffocating debt from the ill-fated Albertson's aquisition". Actually, although decreasing, "cash flow" (not profits) are sufficient to service their debt payments. Not only are they sufficient, but they are accelerating their debt payments on the leveraged buyout of Albertsons to the sum of ~$200 million per year.

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