CINCINNATI — Joe Grieshaber, senior vice president and chief merchant at The Kroger Co., will retire in August after more than 37 years with the company. He will be succeeded by Stuart W. Aitken, currently senior vice president of alternative business and chief executive officer of 84.51˚, Kroger’s data analytics subsidiary.
Yael Cosset, senior vice president and chief information officer, will assume responsibility for alternative business and 84.51˚.
“Today's leadership announcements are consistent with our positive track record of strong succession planning and will help us to continue to drive transformation of our business and culture, focusing on speed, action and agility to deliver value for our customers and shareholders,” said Rodney McMullen, chairman and CEO of The Kroger Co. “We are greatly appreciative of the unique talents and contributions that each of these leaders has provided to Kroger to create a best-in-class experience for our associates and customers.”
Mr. Grieshaber joined Kroger in 1983 as a store management trainee before becoming a meat merchandiser and district manager for the company’s Michigan division. He later was promoted to vice president of merchandising for the Columbus division before being named president of the Dillons division in 2010. He was president of both the Columbus and Fred Meyer divisions before being promoted to senior vice president and chief merchant last year.
Mr. Aitken will succeed Mr. Grieshaber effective Aug. 1. As chief merchant and marketing officer, he will be responsible for sales, pricing, planning, promotions, execution, analytics, ecommerce, digital merchandising and marketing.
“Stuart's outstanding leadership and deep history of putting the customer first through data-driven decisions and personalization will further transform our business for growth,” Mr. McMullen said. “Bringing together merchandising and marketing under one leader will strengthen our brand promise of ‘Fresh for Everyone.’”
Mr. Aitken was named group vice president five years ago and has led 84.51˚ as CEO since it launched in 2015. He was promoted to senior vice president of alternative business in January 2019, where he was tasked with managing several groups, including 84.51°, Kroger Precision Marketing and Kroger Personal Finance.
As head of marketing, he guided the company through its ‘Fresh for Everyone’ brand campaign in November 2019.
Prior to Kroger, he held marketing, and technical roles at companies including Michael's Stores, Safeway, Inc. and dunnhumby USA, where he was CEO from 2009 to 2015.
Mr. Cosset will assume responsibility for Kroger’s alternative profit business portfolio and 84.51° effective Aug. 1 and will continue to lead the technology and digital team.
Mr. Cosset previously was chief commercial officer and CIO at 84.51° before being promoted to vice president and chief global digital officer in 2017. In 2019, he was named senior vice president and CIO.
He held several positions at dunnhumby before joining Kroger, including executive vice president of consumer markets and global CIO. He also was CEO of enterprise software company KSS Retail.