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The Associated Press reports that Safeway CEO Steve Burd may soon face challenges to his continued stewardship of the company because of the series of circumstances that have eroded close to two-thirds of the company's market value in three years, losing more than $20 billion in shareholder wealth.

Various analysts tell the AP that Burd may now "be the wrong guy" to lead the company, and is "very vulnerable" because of an almost four-month long grocery strike in Southern California that has led to near constant vilification by organized labor and religious and civic leaders. Burd has been targeted by labor as the most intransigent of the three CEOs who run companies affected by the strike/lockout, which is over compensation and benefits issues.

In addition, four top Safeway executives left the company during the past 13 months, leading to concerns about the company's executive bench strength.

The company is scheduled to release a quarterly earnings report in less than 10 days, which could give an indication of exactly how exposed Burd is.
KC's View:
We're not exactly calling for Burd's ouster, but we have not understood how he us surviving not just the strike, but the problems that the company has encountered in places like Chicago, Philadelphia, and Texas.