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In the wake of Albertsons CEO Larry Johnston’s failed attempt to sell the company – aborted in the days before Christmas when the company rejected a $9.6 billion acquisition offer – the retailer’s board of directors said last week that it continues to unanimously support its CEO.

However, the Wall Street Journal reported that “with big investors pushing the company to find alternatives to the failed sale, the chief executive of the nation's second-largest supermarket chain faces a difficult test.”

It remains to be seen whether Albertsons will still endeavor to sell off pieces of the company.
KC's View:
Nothing like a vote of confidence to make a leader sleep well at night.

Just ask Billy Martin. Or Dick Howser. Or Yogi Berra. Or Billy Martin (again and again and again).

It seems to us that the only thing more likely than a company board giving a controversial and (at least in this case) unsuccessful CEO a vote of confidence is that members of the board will be asking questions about whether the company is being led in the right direction.

If the direction is toward a more compelling and successful retailing model, an argument can be made that Johnston may not be the guy. And, if the direction is toward selling off the company…well, the recent track record isn’t so terrific there, either.

From the corner office in Boise, we can’t imagine how Johnston’s not looking at nine miles of bad road.