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Safeway general counsel Robert Gordon found himself in hot water last week, after a joke he made at the company’s annual meeting had him branded a sexist. Now, as part of the company’s efforts to clean up the public-relations mess, Gordon and CEO Steve Burd have both sent formal letters of apology to the joke’s powerful targets: Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and former Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi. The SF Gate’s Bottom Line blog posted the text of Burd’s letter to Clinton and Pelosi, which mentioned that “Mr. Gordon has sent a letter of apology directly to both of you.” Burd went on to offer his own act of contrition to the two women, writing:

The joke was inappropriate and I deeply regret that this has obscured the respect we hold for you and for your service to our nation. We intend to do all we can to prevent something like this from happening in the future.

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