CINCINNATI — Kroger Co. has made a number of executive appointments recently.
Earlier this month the nation’s largest supermarket operator named Valerie Jabbar group vice president of merchandising, effective September 1. She has been president of Kroger’s Ralphs Grocery division — which encompasses 191 stores in Southern California — for the past two years.
“Valerie brings a wealth of knowledge, experience and insight to this role,” says executive vice president and chief operating officer Mike Donnelly. “As we continue the work of Restock Kroger, her ability to lead and deliver for our associates and customers will continue to transform our business.”
Jabbar joined Kroger in 1987 as a clerk in the Fry’s division and moved up through roles of increasing responsibility, including assistant store director, category manager, drug/general merchandise coordinator, corporate seasonal manager and director of drug/general merchandise. In 2012, she moved to the Mid-Atlantic division as vice president of merchandising before joining Ralphs in 2013 as vice president of merchandising.
At Ralphs, Jabbar mentors emerging leaders through the women’s associate resource group. In addition, she is president of the Food Industries Circle and serves on the board of the Western Association of Food Chains. She is also the current food industry executive in residence at the Marshall School of Business at the University of Southern California.
Succeeding Jabbar at Ralphs is Mike Murphy, currently vice president of operations at Kroger’s Columbus, Ohio, division. He joined Kroger in 1999 as an accountant in the corporate accounting office and moved to finance in 2001.
In 2011, Murphy joined the Louisville, Ky., division as a grocery merchandiser, and he was promoted to district manager in 2014. He was elevated to vice president of merchandising in the Columbus division in 2016, taking on his current role last year.
Kroger has also appointed Gil Phipps to the new position of vice president of branding, marketing and Our Brands. He had been vice president of Our Brands.
Phipps, who joined Kroger in 2012, is credited with leading the transformation of Kroger’s private label lines, which it designates as Our Brands, by updating established private brands and introducing new labels that resonate with customers.