Food retailing seems to have a predilection for nurturing home-grown talent. With a few notable exceptions -- such as Larry Johnston, chairman and chief executive officer of Albertsons, who joined the Boise, Idaho-based chain from General Electric -- most of the industry's top executives have honed their skills within the industry. Some observers have posited that supermarket operators might be better served by bringing in more people like Johnston from outside the realm of food retailing. ...

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