Kroger shakes up executive ranks
The Kroger Co. is making some key executive moves to support the company's long-term growth.
Mary Ellen Adcock, currently group vice president of retail operations, has been promoted to senior vice president, 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 Mike Donnelly, Kroger's executive vice president and chief operating officer.
Adcock joined Kroger in 1999 at Country Oven Bakery, a manufacturing facility in Bowling Green, Ky. She held several manufacturing leadership positions, including human resources manager, general manager and regional operations manager. She was promoted to vice president of deli/bakery manufacturing in 2009. In 2012, Adcock was promoted to vice president of natural foods merchandising, where she led the launch of Simple Truth.
Adcock was promoted in 2014 to vice president of merchandising for the Columbus division and became vice president of operations for the same division in 2015. While in the Columbus division, she led her team to achieve a double-digit increase in sales and market share growth. She was promoted to her current role in 2016.
Joe Grieshaber, currently president of the Fred Meyer division, has been promoted to senior vice president, merchandising, effective May 1.
"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," said Donnelly.
Grieshaber began his career with Kroger in 1983 as a store management trainee in Nashville, Tenn. He has served in a variety of leadership roles with Kroger, including meat merchandiser and district manager for the Michigan division. In 2000, Grieshaber was promoted to vice president of merchandising for the Columbus division before taking on his role as group vice president of perishables merchandising and procurement at general office in Cincinnati in 2003. He was then named president of the Dillons division in 2010. Grieshaber served as president of the Columbus division before moving to his current role in 2017.
Robert Clark, currently senior vice president of merchandising, has been named senior vice president, supply chain, manufacturing and sourcing, effective May 1.
"Robert will continue to focus on building capacity in Kroger's outstanding manufacturing and distribution networks to support our anything, anytime, anywhere customer ecosystem," said Donnelly.
Clark began his career with the company in 1985 as a courtesy clerk at Fry's Food Stores in Arizona. Since then, he has held various leadership positions, including store and district management as well as in grocery merchandising. In 2002, he was named vice president of Merchandising for Fry's. In 2010, he was promoted to vice president of operations for the Columbus division before taking on the role of vice president of merchandising for the Fred Meyer division in 2011. Clark was promoted to group vice president of non-perishables in 2013, and to his current role in March 2016.
Dennis Gibson, currently president of the King Soopers division, has been promoted to president of the Fred Meyer division, effective May 1. He succeeds Joe Grieshaber.
Gibson returns to Fred Meyer, where he began his Kroger career in 1984. He spent eight years in a variety of apparel merchandising roles in Oregon, Utah and Idaho. Between 1992 and 1999, Gibson held store and district management positions for the Fred Meyer division. He was promoted to vice president and regional director for the division in 1999, prior to serving as group vice president of store operations. In 2011, Gibson moved to the Columbus division as vice president of operations, before being named vice president of merchandising. He was promoted to president of the QFC division in 2014 and named to his current role in 2016. Gibson began his career in the retail industry in 1976 as a management trainee for Grand Central discount department stores in Salt Lake City, Utah.
Dan De La Rosa, currently president of the Columbus division, has been promoted to president of the King Soopers division, effective May 1. He succeeds Dennis Gibson.
De La Rosa joined the company in 1980 as a clerk assistant in the Ralphs division. He has a diverse background in operations and merchandising, serving as store director, director of corporate brands for Ralphs and Food 4 Less and district manager. From 2007 – 2013, he held several fresh merchandising roles with increasing responsibility, including vice president of meat and seafood merchandising for the enterprise. He was named vice president of merchandising at the Fred Meyer division in 2015 and was promoted to his current role in 2017.
De La Rosa holds a bachelor's degree from California State University and is a graduate of the University of Southern California Food Industry Management Program. He also served on the board of the Western Association of Food Chains.
Marlene Stewart, currently president of the Houston division, has announced her plans to retire from the company after 41 years of service, effective July 20.
Stewart started her career with Kroger in 1977 as a bagger in the Cincinnati/Dayton division. She continued to work full-time while attending the University of Cincinnati, from where she graduated cum laude with a bachelor's degree in Business. Stewart went on to serve in many leadership roles in the division, including in store and district management, merchandising, operations and training. In 2005, Stewart moved to Raleigh, North Carolina, to serve as director of operations, before being named vice president of operations for the Mid-Atlantic division in 2007. She moved to Seattle and joined the QFC division in 2011 as vice president of merchandising. Stewart was promoted to president of the Dillons division in 2015 and named to her current role in 2016.
Joe Kelley, currently vice president on special assignment, has been promoted to president of the Houston division, effective May 1. He succeeds Marlene Stewart.
Kelley joined Kroger earlier this year on special assignment, focusing on the company's continued work to improve the customer experience. Kelley is a seasoned retail executive with regional, national and international experience in leading sales, marketing, merchandising, category management, supply chain and operations. He has also held executive leadership roles with Ahold USA, Stop and Shop, Marsh Supermarkets and Price Chopper Supermarkets. Kelley most recently served as principal of Kelley Business Advisors, LLC, where he served as a business consultant for grocery retailers.
Kroger operates 2,764 retail food stores under a variety of banner names.