Warren E. McCain announced his retirement as chairman of the board and chief executive officer of Albertson's Inc. effective Feb. 1, 1991, and will be replaced by Gary G. Michael, 50.

McCain will continue to be active in management as chairman of the executive committee of the board of directors and will remain an employee and director of the company. McCain has worked for Albertson's for 39 years and has served as chief executive officer since 1976.During McCain's tenure as chief executive officer, Albertson's has grown from a West Coast regional chain with less than $1 billion in sales to the sixth-largest food and drug chain in the United States with 1990 annual sales of approximately $8.2 billion.

In a prepared statement, McCain stated: "The company is very sound financially, and the future looks very bright. Now is the time for us to make some management changes that will take us through our next growth cycle."

Michael, who has been with Albertson's for 25 years and has served in various finance, real estate and retail operations capacities, said he doesn't plan any major changes for the supermarket chain.

He currently is vice chairman and chief financial and corporate development officer.

In addition, the board of directors increased the responsibilities of John B. Carley, 56, currently president, to include the position of chief operating officer. A veteran of 40 years with Albertson's, Carley has held many positions in retail operations and will be responsible for all retail store, distribution center, transportation and private label operations.

A. Craig Olson, 39, has been appointed senior vice president for finance and chief financial officer. Currently group vice president of finance, he will have responsibility for all accounting, finance, treasury and risk management functions. He is a 1974 graduate of the University of Idaho and is a certified public accountant.

Albertson's Inc., with corporate headquarters in Boise, operates 527 retail stores in 16 Western and Southern states.