MINNEAPOLIS — Wayne Shurts, 50, has been named the new executive vice-president, chief information officer for SUPERVALU — one of the largest companies in the U.S. grocery channel with estimated annual sales of $41 billion.

Mr. Shurts will lead the company’s I.T. strategy and project implementation. He replaces Colin Cobain, who was appointed in June 2009 as interim chief information officer. Since that time, a search had been underway to fill the role permanently. Mr. Shurts has 25 years of experience in the consumer packaged goods industry, most recently serving as the global chief information officer at Cadbury PLC. He will join SUPERVALU on April 26 and report directly to Craig Herkert, chief executive officer and president.

Before joining Cadbury PLC, Mr. Shurts spent 20 years with Nabisco, where he started in various roles within the financial, marketing and sales analysis organization. He then moved into Nabisco’s sales and marketing information systems area where he took on roles of increasing responsibility including vice-president of sales operations, vice-president of North American supply chain process, and vice-president of e-business. He left Nabisco in 2001 to start his own consulting firm, where he worked with diverse companies to deliver technology strategies.

“Wayne is a strong and proven leader who understands the grocery industry as well as the systems behind supply chain and logistics within retail organizations,” Herkert said. “He is an outstanding addition to our team, and will be invaluable as we continue our focus on becoming America’s Neighborhood Grocer.”