Supermarket Giant Albertsons Bags Top-Shelf CFO

Best Buy alumSharon McCollam becomes CFO and president of the grocery powerhouse.

Sharon McCollam, 59, was happily retired from Best Buy when Albertsons CEO Vivek Sankaran, head of one of the leading American supermarket operators, called.

Would she consider a number two position at the 2,278-store giant? She would and did. In September, McCollam became president and chief financial officer of the company, replacing retiring executive vice president and CFO Bob Dimond.

With consumers stocking up on food and toilet paper, Albertsons has fared well during the pandemic. And yet, it struggled last quarter with a clientele less eager to buy.

First-quarter revenue dropped by 0.7% compared to 2020. It was time to enhance its e-commerce offerings and cut costs to compete with Amazon, Walmart and Kroger. Sankaran noticed that customers who shopped both online and in-store spent at double the rate of regular in-store visitors. That’s why he sought McCollam’s expertise.

An accounting graduate from the University of Central Oklahoma, McCollam is best known for the digital transformation of kitchen-goods retailer Williams Sonoma. Later, in 2012, she joined struggling consumer-electronics retailer Best Buy and, once again, played a role in the company’s spectacular turnaround. “She helped revitalize the company when it was facing a multifaceted crisis” said Hubert Joly, then Best Buy CEO, when she retired. She slashed costs by selling private jets and cancelling trips to the World Economic Forum in Davos, pulled out of the Chinese market, and started concentrating on the basics: the supply chain, IT and logistics.

“I am thrilled to have Sharon join the Albertsons Team,” Sankaran said. “We are entering the next phase of our transformation, centered on building deeper relationships with customers through data, technology and connected omnichannel solutions.”