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Albertsons announced yesterday that its COO and president, Peter Lynch, has retired from the company to "pursue other interests." The move is effective immediately.

Larry Johnston, the company's chairman and CEO, will assume the additional responsibilities of president. Lynch will not be replaced.

The company's spokesman said he didn't know whether Lynch had received a severance package, according to a Dow Jones report, but did say that Lynch did not leave because of the company's financial performance.

Dow Jones noted that for the first quarter ended May 1, the company had a profit of 47 cents a share compared to a loss of 41 cents a share a year ago after items, but missed Wall Street's consensus view by 3 cents a share. Albertsons has reaffirmed its fiscal 2004 earnings per share guidance of $ 1.70 to $1.75.

Albertson's, based in Boise, Idaho, operates about 2,300 retail stores in 31 states.
KC's View:
Yesterday it was Wal-Mart's European CEO, and today Albertsons' COO.

Though unconnected, these two moves would seem to make it appear that folks are getting restless about corporate performances that are not living up to expectations.

The dissatisfaction with Lynch within the organization must have been palpable, since it leaves Johnston - who until just a couple of years ago was a top guy at GE - without a strong operations-oriented COO. But we are undiminished in our admiration of Johnston and what he is trying to do at Albertsons.