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Lynn Gust retiring as Fred Meyer president

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Jeff Burt to succeed him as head of the Kroger division

Lynn Gust retiring as Fred Meyer president

CINCINNATI — Fred Meyer president Lynn Gust is retiring from his post as Kroger Co.’s Fred Meyer Stores division, effective January 31. He will be succeeded by Jeff Burt, president of Kroger’s Central division.

Fred Meyer, based in Portland, Ore., offers one-stop shopping at 132 multi-department stores in Alaska, Idaho, Oregon and Washington.

Gust started his career in 1970 as a parcel clerk at Fred Meyer’s Fourth Plain store in Vancouver, Wash. In 1972, he entered the retailer’s food management program and advanced to serve in a variety of leadership roles in the division, including food department manager, training coordinator, grocery buyer and director of grocery sales and merchandising.

Gust continued his career at Fred Meyer after the company was acquired by Kroger in 1998. After serving as group vice president for the food group, he was named senior vice president of the store operations group in 2003.

Gust was named executive vice president of corporate merchandising and advertising in 2006, and became vice president of operations in 2011. He was promoted to president of Fred Meyer in 2012.

Under his leadership, Fred Meyer reached $10 billion in annual sales for the first time. Also under his leadership, Fred Meyer was recognized twice as one of Oregon’s “Best Places to Work” by the Portland Business Journal, and twice as one of Oregon’s “Healthiest Places to Work” by The Oregonian.

“Throughout his distinguished career, Lynn as always led by empowering, encouraging and supporting others,” said Rodney McMullen, Kroger’s chairman and CEO. “Lynn is widely respected throughout our company and industry for his passion for people, the food business, and the communities we serve. The entire Kroger family wishes Lynn and his family all the best in retirement.”

Burt, who will succeed him as president of the company’s Fred Meyer division, is currently president of Kroger’s Central Division, which operates food stores primarily in Indiana and Illinois. Burt’s successor will be named at a later date.

“Jeff is a strong, dynamic leader who brings out the best in our associates,” McMullen said. “His enthusiasm for serving our customers combined with both broad and deep experience in our business – including in the Pacific Northwest – will serve our Fred Meyer team well. We are grateful he agreed to take on this important role.”

Burt began his career with Kroger in 1986 as a management trainee. He has held a variety of leadership positions with the company in Cincinnati, Florida, Indianapolis and Seattle, including store manager, produce merchandiser and vice president of merchandising and operations. He was named corporate vice president of deli/bakery merchandising and procurement in 2004, and was promoted to group vice president of perishables merchandising and procurement in 2010. He has served as president of Kroger’s Central division since 2013.


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