Laura Karet: 2015 Female Executive of the Year
Giant Eagle Inc.
Laura Karet, CEO, of Giant Eagle was selected for in 2015 in recognition of her continuing contributions to the retail growth and community involvement of Giant Eagle Supermarkets.
In particular, her involvement in the creation of the Market District concept and continued growth of Giant Eagle and Get Go Convenience Stores has caught our attention. Her experiences in marketing, corporate development, expansion and innovative new concepts makes her uniquely qualified along with her involvement and support of community services which ensures Giant Eagle’s continuation as an outstanding corporate citizen.
Karet leads and oversees Giant Eagle, Inc., one of the nation’s largest multi-format food, fuel and pharmacy retailers with approximately 36,000 team members and approximately $9.6 billion in annual sales. Karet was appointed CEO on January 9, 2012.
Giant Eagle is ranked 33rd on the Forbes private corporations list. Founded in 1931, Giant Eagle has grown to be the number one supermarket retailer in the region with more than 420 corporate and independently-owned and operated supermarkets and fuel and convenience stores throughout western Pennsylvania, Ohio, north central West Virginia and western Maryland. Giant Eagle is expanding to Indianapolis, Indiana and will open a Market District and a GetGo location there in September.
Prior to leading the company’s day-to-day operations, Karet served as chief strategy officer and Sr. Executive V.P. In that role, Karet developed and managed Giant Eagle’s short and long-term strategic business plans, set the direction for the Company’s corporate priorities and was also directly responsible for the manufacturing ventures, including its fresh food production facilities.
Karet joined Giant Eagle in 2000 as V.P of Marketing and was later promoted to Sr. V.P. of Marketing and president of New Formats. During that time, Karet led the development, branding and implementation efforts behind the launch of the new innovative Market District format in 2006, which has grown to eight locations, including four in the Pittsburgh area and four in Ohio, including two in Columbus, one near Cleveland and one in the Akron-Canton area.
For her numerous leadership roles in food retailing, marketing and manufacturing, she received the 2011 Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year Western Pennsylvania and West Virginia Award. She was also recognized as one of Progressive Grocer Magazine’s 2010 Top Women in Grocery.
Prior to joining Giant Eagle, Karet held marketing executive positions at Sara Lee from 1997 to 2000, including Director of Branded Marketing for the bakery division. Karet also served in several brand management roles at Procter and Gamble from 1990 to 1997 for household name products such as Crisco shortening, Folgers coffee, Giorgio Beverly Hills fragrances and Secret antiperspirant.
Karet is currently an active member on the board of directors for various organizations, some of which include: The Allegheny Conference on Community Development; United Way of Allegheny County; Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh Foundation; and, Fox Chapel Country Day School.
A native of Pittsburgh, Pennyslvania, Karet graduated from Amherst College with a Bachelor’s degree in English, and now resides in the Pittsburgh area with her husband and three children.