Steven A. Burd '71

1996 Distinguished Alumnus Award for Professional Achievement

Steven A. Burd '71 is president and chief operating officer of Safeway, Inc., a Fortune 500 company and one of the largest food and drug retailers in North America. Safeway is known as one of the best performing companies of the S&P 500 and was voted the most admired food and drug store in America by Fortune Magazine.

Burd previously was a longtime management consultant to the supermarket company. He began his career in 1973 with Southern Pacific Transportation Company and joined Arthur Little as a general management consultant in 1982. He began his own firm, Burd and Associates, in 1987. During that period, he worked with Kohlberg, Kravis, Roberts & Co. (KKR), a buyout company, to improve results at several companies in which KKR was the major shareholder including Dillingham Construction, Union Texas Petroleum, and retailers such as Stop & Shop and Fred Meyer.  

In 1992, KKR hired Burd as President for Safeway Foods, which oversaw a chain of 1,100 grocery stores in Canada and the U.S.  In 1993, he became the chief executive officer. Burd had been termed a “turnaround ace” by Forbes magazine because of his ability to turn failing companies into successful ones. The net income of Safeway more than tripled in the first full year of his tenure and sales increased 2% due to Burd’s strong leadership.

Burd is a member of the boards of the Food Marketing Institute, the California Business Roundtable, and Casa Ley, S.A., which operates food and general merchandise stores in western Mexico. He has been featured in The Wall Street Journal, Business Week, Forbes and Worth magazine, and has appeared on CNBC’s Business Center program. In 1995, the Wall Street Transcript gave him its Outstanding Achievement Award and was recognized as one of the top 50 CEOs in American business.

Steve graduated from Carroll in 1971 with a Bachelor of Science degree in economics and went on to receive a master’s degree in economics from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. He has remained an active and dedicated alumnus throughout the years. Steve has been active in reunion activities, led seminars and workshops on campus for business majors, and was the commencement speaker in 1995.  

Burd served on the Carroll Board of Trustees from 1999-2008. Additionally, Carroll holds special meaning for Steve as his brother Richard also attended Carroll, graduating in the class of 1970; and it was the place he met his wife, Christine (Mondrowski '70) Burd. 

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