Safeway Inc. is one of the largest food and drug retailers in North America. Headquartered in California, Safeway is a Fortune 50 company, operating 1,739 stores in the United States and Canada. Regarded as one of the best managed food retail companies, Safeway has been ranked by Fortune magazine as one of the "most admired" companies in the food and drug sector and named the top retailer by leading industry publications Supermarket News and Progressive Grocer.
Upon Mr. Burd's arrival at Safeway in 1992, he spearheaded a significant turnaround that produced industry-leading sales and cost reduction while developing an excellent reputation for superior customer service. In 2003 Mr. Burd launched a strategy to differentiate Safeway’s offerings by fundamentally reinventing its business through its Lifestyle store format, product innovation, operational efficiencies and new growth vehicles. The company has expanded its reach into the prescription drug business with more than 1,300 in-store pharmacies. In addition, it offers a wide range of proprietary products and special features, including superb perishables, restaurant-quality prepared meals, an extensive line of private label products, fuel centers, online home delivery and Starbucks coffee cafés.
Mr. Burd is considered a thought leader in advancing sound public policy on issues impacting the retail industry. Solving the health care crisis in America is a passion of Mr. Burd’s. Under his direction, Safeway has reversed the trend of rising health care costs by implementing an innovative plan that pays 100% of preventive care, rewards good behavior and allows employees to take more control of their health care decisions. This has allowed the company and its employees to improve the quality of care while reducing out-of-pocket costs. In 2007 Mr. Burd created the Coalition to Advance Healthcare Reform (CAHR), an alliance of more than 60 companies advocating state and federal health care reform that advances market-based solutions that ensure universal access, more individual control in health care decision-making, and incentives for preventive care to improve patient care, while providing more transparency in delivery systems and administrative cost efficiencies.
Prior to joining Safeway, Mr. Burd was a general management consultant to more than a dozen companies in a number of industries including consumer products, manufacturing and retailing. He serves on the Board of Kohl’s Corporation, the Business Council, the Food Marketing Institute and the California Business Roundtable.
Under Mr. Burd’s direction, Safeway has become a national leader in supporting charitable causes. Over the past decade, the company has raised and donated more than $1 billion to support education, health and wellness, community food banks, and cancer research and prevention. In 2008 alone, Safeway's charitable giving was the equivalent of 20 percent of its net income. The company is a leading corporate supporter of the quest to find a cure for prostate and breast cancer. Through a unique combination of fundraising and public service messages, Safeway is reaching millions of customers with cancer prevention messages and is raising millions of dollars each year for critical research programs.