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|SUPERVALU Names Jeff Noddle President and Chief Operating Officer|
MINNEAPOLIS, June 22 /PRNewswire/ -- The board of directors of SUPERVALU INC. (NYSE: SVU) today announced the election of Jeff Noddle, 54, to president and chief operating officer for the Minneapolis-based food retailer and food distributor. Noddle most recently had been executive vice president, chief operating officer, SUPERVALU distribution food companies. Effective immediately, Noddle will have responsibility for all of the company's operations, including its retail store network of over 1,100 stores and its national distribution network, supplying over 5,100 stores throughout the country. In his position he will continue to report to Mike Wright, SUPERVALU chairman and chief executive officer. Jeff also will become a director of the company.
"I am very pleased to announce this promotion," said Wright. "Jeff is an outstanding leader, as demonstrated by his success at SUPERVALU. I have the utmost confidence in Jeff. With nearly 30 years of food retailing and distribution experience, he is uniquely qualified to oversee our operations."
Wright added, "Jeff's appointment establishes SUPERVALU's leadership into the next decade. His promotion to the position of president and chief operating officer is part of a planned leadership transition process that was started a year ago by the board of directors to determine my ultimate successor. I plan to step down from my position as CEO by the next annual meeting in June 2001, and thereafter to continue as chairman of the board."
Noddle commented, "I am excited by this tremendous opportunity, pleased to accept the vote of confidence of the board and eager to work on behalf of our shareholders, customers and employees. I am fully committed to achieving the company's strategic objectives in food retailing and distribution. On a personal note, I especially value the continued leadership and inspiration of Mike Wright, the exceptional talents of the members of our management team and the dedication of our 80,000 hard-working SUPERVALU employees who focus everyday on serving our customers so effectively and efficiently. SUPERVALU is well positioned to become a national player in the retail grocery industry and to maximize our distribution capabilities across an even broader base of customers."
Wright added, "Jeff's contributions to SUPERVALU are many. He was the key driver in our decision to aggressively invest in retail, thereby successfully repositioning SUPERVALU as a leading food retailer, complementing our industry-leading distribution capability. Jeff led the transformation of our distribution business to a technology-driven logistics network, including our proprietary incentive-based pricing system. During his tenure we have successfully expanded our base business by attracting formerly self-supplied chains and mass merchandisers seeking the scale and superior service of SUPERVALU's logistics network. Jeff also directed SUPERVALU's strategy to be the national facilitator of grocery product to the e-commerce supply chain and he has played a major role in other technology and e-commerce initiatives."
Noddle's career includes both retail and distribution-related positions since joining the company in 1976 as director of retail operations at the J.M. Jones division, Champaign, Ill. From 1982-1985 he served as president of SUPERVALU's Fargo and Miami divisions. He was promoted to corporate vice president, Merchandising in 1985 and corporate senior vice president, Marketing in 1988. He was named executive vice president, Marketing in 1992, with responsibility for the company's retail operations, along with SUPERVALU pharmacy, wholesale merchandising and procurement and the company's international operations. Prior to joining the company he had five years of retail operations experience with Supermarkets Interstate in Omaha, Neb.
SUPERVALU is a fast-growing supermarket retailer currently holding the 10th largest position in the industry and is this nation's largest food distributor to supermarkets. Fiscal 2000, which ended February 26, 2000, was a record year in sales and earnings per share for SUPERVALU. Fiscal 2000 sales exceeded $20 billion for the first time, reaching $20.3 billion, a 17 percent increase. Excluding the net benefit of one-time items, fiscal 2000 net income grew to $232 million, a 21 percent increase and fiscal 2000 earnings per share grew to $1.78, a 13 percent increase.
Forward-looking statements in this news release, if any, are made under
the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of
1995. Certain important factors could cause results to differ materially from
those anticipated by the forward-looking statements, including the impact of
changing economic or business conditions, the impact of competition, the
nature and extent of the consolidation of the retail food and food
distribution industries, the ability to attract and retain customers for the
company's food distribution operations and to control food distribution costs,
the ability of SUPERVALU to assimilate acquired entities, the availability of
favorable credit and trade terms, food price changes, other risk factors
inherent in the food wholesaling and retail businesses and other factors
discussed from time to time in reports filed by the company with the
Securities and Exchange Commission.