Former Safeway exec named to head Michaels chain
Brian C. Cornell, executive vice president and chief marketing officer at California-based grocer Safeway Inc. for the past three years, has been named chief executive of Irving, Texas-based crafts giant Michaels Stores Inc.
The appointment comes just eight months after the arts and crafts retailer was taken private in a $6 billion buyout by private equity firms Bain Capital and the Blackstone Group.
A key player in Safeway’s “Ingredients for Life” brand repositioning, new lifestyle store format and the introduction of private-label brands, Cornell, 48, was also key in the revitalization of the firm's Tom Thumb and Randall’s chains.
Cornell joins the $3.87 billion-a-year Michaels just as the firm has begun its first national TV, radio and print campaigns and launched a partnership with Martha Stewart to sell a line of craft paper.
Michaels operates 930 of its name-branded stores as well as 168 Aaron Brothers framing stores and 11 Recollections stores.
Previously, Cornell was president of Pepsi-Cola North America’s Foodservice Division and senior vice president of sales for Pepsi-Cola North America. Prior to that, he was regional president of PepsiCo Beverages International’s European and African business and president of Tropicana Products International in Brussels, Belgium.