A bit of local news: Jewel-Osco's president Mike Withers has been promoted to executive vice president of retail operations at parent company Albertsons Co., Boise, Idaho. A successor for Withers has not yet been announced. The Chicago Tribune reports Withers will oversee Albertson's East region operations while current executive vice president of retail operations, Susan Morris, will preside over the West, according to an Albertsons news release last week.
The move brings Withers, 57, back full-circle, as he began his career in the grocery business in 1976 as a clerk for Albertsons in Boise. He will be located at Albertsons' corporate headquarters.
Since 2013, Withers led Jewel-Osco through a period of immense change and intense competition in Chicago's supermarket industry, after the Dominick's closing led to a flood of new competitors aiming for market share. Jewel-Osco is the Chicago area's largest grocery store chain. Based in Itasca, Ill., the chain is a subsidiary of AB Acquisitions, better known as Albertsons, which is regulated by New York-based private equity firm Cerberus Capital Management. In the last four years, Jewel-Osco has grown its number of stores from 176 to 186, and remodeled dozens more.