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Nice profile in the Minneapolis Star Tribune about Janel Haugarth, who, “as the new president of Supervalu Incorporated's vaunted distribution unit…is arguably one of most powerful women in the supermarket business, an industry long dominated by men. She now oversees some of Supervalu's most cherished initiatives -- the creation of a fresh-produce subsidiary and the secretive rollout of robotic technology at the company's warehouse in Hopkins.

“Perhaps most intriguing,” the Star Tribune writes, “Haugarth's promotion elevates her to among a few who might someday become Supervalu's chief executive, analysts say. After all, Supervalu's current chairman and chief executive, Jeff Noddle, once ran distribution. As did the man whom Haugarth replaced, Mike Jackson, now president and chief operating officer and heir apparent to Noddle.”

The paper says that “former colleagues and executives say Haugarth has excelled at Supervalu because of her ability to deftly manage relationships, especially with the independent retailers that form the bulk of Supervalu's wholesale customers.”

“We share a common objective," she says about these independent retailers. "Supervalu understands that if the independent is successful, then we will be successful. And I think they are beginning to trust us as well, that we are there to make sure they have the lowest cost of goods, get the same advantages in the supply chain as the supercenters do."
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