Save-A-Lot Founder to Step Down

May 05, 2006
George Anderson

By George Anderson

Since 1977 when the first store opened, it has been impossible to bring up Save-A-Lot without mentioning the company’s founder Bill Moran.

Now, Mr. Moran is retiring from the company and, for the first time in its history, Save-A-Lot will be identified without its founder in the sentence.

Jeff Noddle, chairman and CEO of Save-A-Lot’s parent company Supervalu, said in a press release, “Bill Moran has been the visionary force for Save-A-Lot and the industry. He has guided Save-A-Lot’s emergence as a national chain with more than 1,100 stores open from coast to coast. His unswerving focus and sound, ethical business practices have made Save-A-Lot a model of exceptional grocery retailing.”

The person picked to fill Mr. Moran’s shoes is Bill Shaner, a Supervalu veteran of more than 20 years. He has served the company in a variety of positions, including president of Supervalu’s former division in Maryland division and president of the grocery wholesaler’s Central region.

Mr. Shaner has been with Save-A-Lot since 1999 and has the confidence of the company founder.

Calling Mr. Shaner “a great leader for the next phase of Save-A-Lot,” Mr. Moran said the company he founded “has a strong future and complements Supervalu’s multi-format retail portfolio with its innovative merchandising programs including the integration of general merchandise, expansion of produce offerings, successful consumer awareness programs and the banner’s licensee remodeling program.”

Moderator’s Comment: When a company has been closely associated with a single individual, does the organization lose
something when that person leaves? Bill Shaner has been with Save-A-Lot since 1999. What changes, if any, do you expect to see at the chain with him in charge?

George Anderson – Moderator

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3 Comments on "Save-A-Lot Founder to Step Down"

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Mark Lilien
14 years 9 months ago

SuperValu is known for its management expertise and financial stability. It’s unlikely that radical change is in the air for Save-A-Lot.

Gene Hoffman
Gene Hoffman
14 years 9 months ago
When a company such as Save-A-Lot, Wal-Mart, Starbucks, Ford or Microsoft grows because of the vision and innovative skills of a founder, its momentum is challenged when the founder retires. A void is created and quite frequently the successor doesn’t create the leadership magic of the founder. The list is legion. However, some do with their own fashion such David Glass at Wal-Mart when Sam Walton passed on. The challenge for the successor is to develop a new horizon for associates, licensees and the targeted customer group that focuses on a continuing aura of uniqueness and dynamics that matches the magic of the founder’s vision. In the case of Save-A-Lot, Bill Moran has worked with Bill Shaner for seven years and he has determined Shaner’s mettle. Moran has selected Bill to receive his baton. Now Bill Shaner must clearly put his fingerprints on the continuing evolution of Save-A-Lot and lead it to the horizon that is perceived by all constituencies to be high enough for Save-A-Lot. The parent company, SuperValu, will undoubtedly give Bill Shaner… Read more »
Daryle Hier
Daryle Hier
14 years 9 months ago

What often gets overlooked by top executives working for a corporation, is the founder(s) reached this point with a visionary concept. The fundamentals of business had probably long ago been taken over by management.

Take for instance Wendy’s, as they have arguably struggled since Dave Thomas’ passing. Carl’s Jr. has floundered without the Karcher Bros’. On the other hand, I like Save-A-Lot’s positioning, so the challenge is to continue their focus but with SuperValu’s history, this looks doable.


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