Safeway names Robert Edwards as new CEO following Burd's retirement

Safeway Inc. has named company president Robert Edwards as its new CEO, to succeed Steven Burd when he retires in May.

The supermarket chain announced in January that Burd would retire this spring after more than 20 years with the grocer.

Edwards, 57, has served in a number of leadership positions since joining the company in 2004. Before Safeway, Edwards was a senior executive with Maxtor Corp., Imation Corp. and Santa Fe Pacific Corp.

Burd has been CEO of Safeway since 1993 and was named chairman in 1998. Edwards will join the board upon taking his new position.

Safeway said that T. Gary Rogers, the company’s lead independent director, will become non-executive chairman following Burd’s retirement.

The company, based in Pleasanton, Calif., operates 1,638 stores in the U.S. and Canada.

Shares of Safeway rose 20 cents to close at $23.51 amid a broad market rally and added three cents in after-hours trading following the announcement.