Jim Donald

Co-Chairman Albertsons Companies

Photograph of Jim Donald  Jim Donald is a seasoned executive with a distinguished career in retail. He was 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.

Donald currently serves as CEO of Albertson’s, the nation’s second largest supermarket operator, and he has more than 35 years of experience in the supermarket industry. He began his career in 1971 as a trainee with Publix Super Markets. Joining Albertson’s in 1976, he quickly rose through its managerial ranks and was head of operations in Arizona. After 16 years at Albertson’s, Donald’s reputation in grocery operations spurred Walmart founder Sam Walton to personally recruit him to help the company’s then-struggling grocery business in 1991. Handpicked and with the goal to build a major presence in the supermarket business, Donald was a key executive in the company’s development and expansion of the Walmart Super Center, supervising all merchandising, distribution, store design, and real estate operations.

Donald later served as president and manager of Safeway’s 130-store Eastern division from 1994 to 1996. Donald then joined Pathmark Stores in 1996 as chairman, president, and CEO. Jim Donald joined Starbucks in 2002 as president of its North American division, and he later served as president and CEO from 2005–2008, while the company saw some of its most rapid global expansion. He also continued Starbucks’ strong commitment to corporate social responsibility with efforts to develop ethical sourcing practices for products, fund water projects in developing countries, and reduce the company’s environmental footprint.

Donald also served as CEO of Haggen Food & Pharmacy from 2009 until 2011.  Later, Extended Stay Hotels sought him out after emerging from its bankruptcy proceedings in 2010, where he led its successful $565 million IPO. Donald’s personal, hands-on approach to leadership is what drove the rehabilitation of one of the world’s largest hotel operators.