Edwards, who is 57, will also join the company's board of directors.
At the same time, it was announced that Gary Rogers, currently the company's Lead Independent Director, will become non-executive chairman of the board.
Edwards joined Safeway in 2004 as executive vice president and chief financial officer. In April 2012, he was named president, with overall responsibility for the company's retail operations, marketing, merchandising, corporate brands, manufacturing, distribution and finance functions. He continued as chief financial officer until Pete Bocian succeeded him in that role in February of this year.
Prior to joining Safeway, Edwards served as a senior executive at Maxtor Corp., Imation Corp. and Santa Fe Pacific Corp. He serves as a director on KKR Financial Holdings, LLC and on Blackhawk Network Holdings Inc., a subsidiary of Safeway Inc. He holds a Masters in Business Administration and a bachelor of sciences degree in Accounting from Brigham Young University.
Rogers has been a member of the board since March 2011. He is the former chairman and chief executive officer of Dreyer's Grand Ice Cream Inc., where he led the development of the country's largest ice cream company from 1977 to 2007. He later served as non-executive chairman of Levi Strauss & Co. and of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
A Safeway spokesman said the company's board of directors undertook a thorough search and concluded that Edwards is the best candidate to lead Safeway.
Burd has been president of Safeway since October 26, 1992, and CEO since April 30, 1993. He joined the board of directors on Sept. 7, 1993 and has served as chairman of the board since May 12, 1998. He also sits on the board of directors of Kohl's.