US supermarket group Safeway has promoted Robert Edwards to the post of president.

Edwards has served as Safeway’s EVP and chief financial officer since 2004.

In his new role, he will take overall responsibility for the company’s retail operations, marketing, merchandising, corporate brands, manufacturing, distribution and finance functions. He will continue as CFO until a successor is named to the position.

“Robert is one of those unusual executives with a strong command of both the financial and operational sides of our business,” Safeway chairman and CEO Steve Burd said yesterday (9 April).

Burd added the move would allow him to focus more on “innovation” and a “range of strategic initiatives” to drive long-term growth of core and non-core operations.

The company also announced that Larree Renda, current executive vice president, will assume additional responsibilities for real estate and information technology, adding to her current duties managing human resources and labour relations, strategic initiatives, corporate social responsibility, government relations, public affairs and Safeway Health.

“Both of these changes to our management structure will further strengthen our senior team and our ability to deliver sustainable growth,” Burd said.