“The Industry’s Best Faculty!”
President & CEO, Albertsons
Jim Donald currently serves as the President and Chief Executive Officer of Albertsons Companies, Inc., a leading North American retail food, health and wellness company. Albertsons Companies has stores across 35 states and the District of Columbia under 20 well-known banners including Albertsons, Safeway, Vons, Jewel-Osco, Shaw’s, Acme, Tom Thumb, Randalls, United Supermarkets, Pavilions, Star Market, Haggen and Carrs, as well as meal kit company Plated based in New York City. The company operates more than 1,700 pharmacies, 23 distribution centers, 20 manufacturing plants, and approximately 270,000 employees across the country.
Throughout his career, Donald has proven his acumen for cultivating remarkable employee engagement and improving the performance of both public and private corporations. Donald’s 47-year retail career began as a trainee in Florida with Publix Supermarkets. He joined Albertsons in 1976, which culminated in his being appointed Vice President of Operations in Arizona. In 1991, he was recruited personally by Sam Walton to join Walmart to lead the development of their grocery business and Superstore development. Donald subsequently left for Safeway in 1994 to be the Senior Vice President of their 130-store Eastern region, a position he held for two years. His first Chief Executive Officer role was at Pathmark Stores from 1996 through 2002, followed by his most well-known appointment as President and Chief Executive Officer at Starbucks, where he notably led the company through record growth, including five straight years of 20%+ annual earnings increases. Post Starbucks, Donald served as Chief Executive Officer of two other companies, Haggen and Extended Stay America, Inc. Named one of the “Top 25 CEOs in the World” by The Best Practice Institute and one of Business Travel News’ “25 Most Influential Business Travel Executives” in 2013 for his leadership of Extended Stay America where he led its successful $565 million IPO, Donald joined Albertsons Companies in March 2018 as President and Chief Operating Officer.
A native of Florida, Donald graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration from Century University, Albuquerque, New Mexico. Donald currently serves on the Board of Directors of Barry Callebaut AG.