The Kroger Co. has reorganized a number of upper management positions, including several division presidents, in what it says is an effort to support the long-term growth of its Restock program.
Kroger EVP and COO Mike Donnelly noted that each promotion was consistent with the retailer’s “track record of strong succession planning and will help ensure we continue driving toward our growth objectives.”
Robert Clark, currently SVP of merchandising, has been named senior SVP of supply chain, manufacturing and sourcing, where, according to Donnely, he will continue to focus on building capacity in Kroger's manufacturing and distribution networks.
Mary Ellen Adcock, currently group VP of retail operations, has been promoted to SVP of retail operations, effective May 1.
“Mary Ellen quickly established herself as a key contributor to both the sales and operations organization as well as to the senior executive team. She led Kroger’s efforts to deliver an unprecedented $1 billion in operational savings in 2018 and will no doubt successfully extend her proven track record while overseeing several of Kroger's retail supermarket divisions,” said Donnelly.
Current president of the Fred Meyer division, Joe Grieshaber, will step into Clark’s role as SVP of merchandising.
Dennis Gibson, currently president of the King Soopers division, will succeed Grieshaber.
Taking over the King Soopers division will be Dan De La Rosa, current president of the Columbus division.
Additionally, Houston Division President Marlene Stewart announced her plans to retire from the company after 41 years, effective July 20, to be replaced by Joe Kelley, current vice president on special assignment. Kelley is a former executive with Stop & Shop, Price Chopper and Albertsons and is a former CEO of Marsh Supermarkets.
"We have a leadership team that combines deep experience with creative new talent," said Tim Massa, Kroger's SVP of human resources and chief people officer. "In our dynamic retail environment, we continue to look to experienced and capable leaders to take on key senior officer roles while also developing high-performing leaders and teams, including bringing in outside talent, as part of Restock Kroger."
This is not the first staffing shakeup the retailer has gone through this year. In January, Kroger's EVP and chief information officer, Chris Hjelm, announced his retirement, passing his role to Chief Digital Officer Yael Cosset. At the same time, it expanded the role of 84.51 CEO Stuart Aitken.