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Return of Panzer fortifies health, wellness team.

BOISE, Idaho -- Mark Panzer joined Albertsons LLC this year as senior vice president of pharmacy, health and wellness. Panzer, who had been president and chief executive officer of Pharmaca Integrative Pharmacy Inc., replaced Darren Singer, who left Albertsons.

The appointment reunited Panzer with Bob Miller, who was named Albertsons' CEO. The pair worked at Rite Aid Corp. from 2001 to 2007.

Panzer's career began at Osco Drug over four decades ago. He moved into roles in regional sales and marketing and regional operations for the chain, eventually serving as district manager as well as director and subsequently vice president of sales and marketing at American Drug Stores. Those roles led to his being named senior vice president of sales and marketing at Albertsons following its merger with American Stores in 1999.

In 2001 Panzer joined Rite Aid as executive vice president of store operations, and in 2005 he was named senior executive vice president and chief marketing officer. He left in 2008 to become president and CEO of Pharmaca. Last year he took a brief hiatus from Pharmaca to head Kmart pharmacy for Sears Holdings Corp.

"Mark understands and appreciates the entrepreneurial spirit that embodies how we go to market across our divisions, and we're thrilled that he's chosen to come back to our team," said Shane Sampson, chief marketing and merchandising officer for Albertsons. "Early on in his career, Mark was part of the team that helped define what great customer service meant for pharmacy operations in a grocery company. Moreover, he has proven himself to be an extraordinary leader throughout his career and is well respected throughout the industry.

"His extensive retail, sales and marketing experience will be invaluable to our pharmacy team as we move forward with our goal to be the favorite local supermarket for our customers and employees."

For Miller, taking on the CEO role in addition to being Albertsons' executive chairman gave him the role he sought 25 years ago. His retailing career began as a store associate at Albertsons Inc. in the 1960s and took him up through the managerial ranks until he was appointed executive vice president of operations in 1988. When he was passed over for the CEO position, he embarked on an executive journey that took him to the leadership first of Portland, Ore.-based Fred Meyer Inc. and then to Rite Aid.

He was named Rite Aid chairman and CEO in December 1999, and over the next three and a half years he led the successful turnaround of what had been a nearly bankrupt company. He continued to serve as chairman of Rite Aid until June 2007 and a director until 2011.

In 2006 Albertsons effectively self-destructed, selling most of its assets to Supervalu Inc. and CVS Corp. Cerberus acquired around 600 of the less-desirable Albertsons locations and hired Miller as CEO of that operation, called Albertsons LLC. In 2012 Cerberus bought the supermarket assets Supervalu had acquired six years before, and Miller became executive chairman of what, in effect, was a reconstituted Albertsons.

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Publication:Chain Drug Review
Date:Aug 10, 2015
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