Finance Guy Takes Helm of Dominick’s
First off, this is not a swipe at Brian Baer, the recently named president of Safeway’s Dominick’s Finer Foods division in the Chicago market. Mr. Baer may be a brilliant retail executive and the perfect fit to return the chain to its previous glory. That said, it struck me as odd that while it’s common in retail conversations to hear that we need to get back to being merchants again, companies quite often seem to turn to non-merchants to run their businesses.
Mr. Baer, in this case, has been the chief financial officer of Dominick’s since 2008 and has been acting president of the company since late last year. He joined Safeway in 2001 and has held a number of financial positions in that time. Before joining the grocer, Mr. Baer worked at Marriott’s Food & Beverage and Retail business as well as at The Carlyle Group and Price-Waterhouse Coopers.
"Brian has proven himself ideally-suited for the leadership role at Dominick’s," said Steve Burd, chairman, president, and chief executive officer of Safeway, in a press release. "He has demonstrated himself to be a well-rounded executive who will serve this operating division well going forward.
- Safeway Names Brian Baer President of Dominick’s – Safeway Inc.
- Safeway names Brian Baer president of Dominick’s – Chicago Tribune
Discussion Questions: Is the professional background (finance, IT, marketing, operations, etc.) of top executives a good indicator of how they will approach running a retail business once they are put in charge? Is there a particular type of training that you think is most needed to run a large retail chain?