Former Supervalu Inc executive Peter Van Helden is to become president and COO at US regional retailer Stater Bros.

Van Helden, who left Supervalu last year, will take the roles in June, replacing Jim Lee, who is retiring.

Stater Bros. chairman and CEO Jack Brown called Van Helden “a well-respected and long-time food industry executive”. He added: “I am confident that he will do an outstanding job as president and COO and will be valuable to the future growth of Stater Bros.”

Van Helden spent over 30 years at Supervalu but left his last job at the retailer as executive vice president of retail operations last May.

At the time, Supervalu, which was looking to shake up its business after a challenging few years, said Van Helden’s exit came “at the right time for both Supervalu and Van Helden, as the company continues to implement its business transformation strategy and as Van Helden moves on to opportunities that will better utilise his strengths”.

In January, Supervalu agreed to sell five of its chains to a consortium led by private-equity firm Cerberus Capital Management.

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Privately-owned Stater Bros. has 167 stores in California.