CINCINNATI — The Kroger Co. has announced several executive promotions to support Restock Kroger, a multiyear plan designed to create shareholder value.
“We are making progress on redefining the customer experience, and our high-performing leaders are determined to maintain that momentum in year two of Restock Kroger and beyond,” said Michael Donnelly, executive vice-president and chief operating officer. “Each of these promotions is consistent with Kroger’s track record of strong succession planning and will help ensure we continue driving toward our growth objectives.”
Mary Ellen Adcock, group vice-president of retail operations, has been elevated to the role of senior vice-president of retail operations. A 20-year veteran of the company, Ms. Adcock has held various manufacturing leadership positions, including human resources manager, general manager and regional operations manager. In 2012, she was named vice-president of natural foods merchandising, during which time she led the launch of Kroger’s Simple Truth brand. She has held her current position since 2016.
“Mary Ellen quickly established herself as a key contributor to both the sales and operations organization as well as to the senior executive team,” Mr. Donnelly said. “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.”
Joe Grieshaber, president of the Fred Meyer division, has been named senior vice-president of merchandising. He joined Kroger in 1983 as a store management trainee in Nashville, Tenn., and has held various leadership roles at the company, including meat merchandiser and district manager for the Michigan division. He later was promoted to vice-president of merchandising for the Columbus division, then group vice-president of perishables merchandising and procurement at the general office in Cincinnati. In 2010, he was named president of the Dillons division and was president of the Columbus division before moving into his current role in 2017.
“Joe brings to the senior merchandising role experience in a variety of leadership roles throughout the company, including most recently leading our successful Fred Meyer division with its broader mix-oriented retail format,” Mr. Donnelly said.
Robert Clark, senior vice-president of merchandising, has been named senior vice-president of supply chain, manufacturing and sourcing. Mr. Clark joined Kroger in 1985 as a courtesy clerk at Fry’s Food Stores in Arizona and has since held several leadership positions, including store and district management and grocery merchandising. He became vice-president of merchandising for Fry’s in 2002, then vice-president of operations for the Columbus division in 2010. He later was named vice-president of merchandising for the Fred Meyer division, then group vice-president of non-perishables, before moving into his current role in 2016.
“Robert will continue to focus on building capacity in Kroger’s outstanding manufacturing and distribution networks to support our anything, anytime, anywhere customer ecosystem,” Mr. Donnelly said.
Dennis Gibson, president of the King Soopers division, will succeed Mr. Grieshaber as president of the Fred Meyer division. Dan De La Rosa, president of the Columbus division, will succeed Mr. Gibson as president of King Soopers. Marlene Stewart, president of the Houston division, will retire after 41 years with the company. Succeeding her is Joe Kelley, currently vice-president on special assignment.
“We have a leadership team that combines deep experience with creative new talent,” said Tim Massa, senior vice president 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.”