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Long-time Safeway exec retires

PLEASANTON, Calif. — Safeway announced Friday that Tom Keller, president of the company's Vons Division, will retire after more than 40 years of distinguished service in the food industry. He will leave his post on Feb. 1. Gary Rocheleau, currently VP retail merchandising execution, will lead the Vons Division on an interim basis.

 Keller has been president of Vons since 1999. He started his career at Safeway as a food clerk in the company's Phoenix Division. He rose through the retail ranks taking on a range of progressively more senior assignments in a number of geographies including Seattle, Portland and Northern California. Keller left Safeway in 1991 to join Purity Supermarkets in Massachusetts, as president and COO prior to the merger with Stop and Shop. He rejoined Safeway in 1998 as VP retail operations manager in Safeway's Northern California division.

"Tom leaves an important imprint on the organization as an energetic and innovative leader," said Steve Burd, Safeway chairman, president and CEO. "We gratefully acknowledge his considerable and varied contributions to the success of our company and wish him the best in the years ahead."

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