Duncan, a veteran retail executive, took the helm of Supervalu in February 2013 after the troubled company sold half of its assets, including four big supermarket chains. The retooled Supervalu is more dependent on food wholesaling, but also has a national discount grocery chain, Save-A-Lot and smaller chains including Cub Foods.

What happened: The Duncan-led turnaround continued with solid sales growth at Save-A-Lot, as the discounter cut prices to be more competitive and rolled out full-scale meat counters. Sales at the firm's conventional chains like Cub inched forward after years of decline, but the company's wholesale division has seen sales fall a bit. Investors have cheered: Supervalu's shares were up 33 percent in 2014, compared with 14 percent for the broader stock market.