US supermarket operator Safeway has expressed its disappointment that Institutional Shareholder Services (ISS) has recommended shareholders withhold votes for Safeway chairman and CEO Steve Burd at the company’s upcoming annual meeting.

ISS suggested a withhold vote in order to send a signal to the company that additional corporate governance changes should occur, Safeway said. The company urged shareholders to vote for Burd, saying shares have grown in value from less than US$3 to more than $20 on a split-adjusted basis since he took over leadership of the company.

Safeway recently announced changes to its corporate governance that included the appointment of three new independent directors to its board.

Safeway said it believes the changes to corporate governance are substantial and said it would continue to discuss such issues with its shareholders and give their views careful consideration.

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