Burd was President of Safeway from October 26, 1992 until May 14, 2013, and CEO from April 30, 1993 until May 14, 2013. He joined the Board of Directors on September 7, 1993 and served as Chairman of the Board between May 12, 1998 and May 14, 2013. While CEO of Safeway in 2009, he earned a total compensation of $10,901,892, which included a base salary of $1,449,000, a cash bonus of $358,627, stock awards of $491,611 and options granted of $6,922,200. Steven Burd will receive another $7.5 million in stock as a result of the transaction that combines Safeway and Albertsons supermarket chain.
Burd spearheaded the innovative "Healthy Measures" insurance plan offered to Safeway employees. In this plan, employees get discounts on their health insurance if they show qualified performance in four "tests": tobacco usage, healthy weight, blood pressure and cholesterol levels. Employees can get as much as an $800 annual premium reduction. He founded the Coalition to Advance Healthcare Reform in order to promote similar health policies nationally.
In January 2010, the Washington Post reported that Bund's assertion in June 2009 that Safeway's per capita health-care costs between 2005 and 2009 were flat was in fact true, but had nothing to do with incentives for employees. Those incentives weren't implemented until 2009, and the company forecast that per capita expenses for its employees would rise by 8.5 percent for the 2009 year.