CINCINNATI — Kroger Co. has promoted Steve McKinney, who was previously president of Kroger’s Fry’s Food Stores division, to the post of senior vice president of retail divisions. Monica Garnes, who had been corporate vice president of produce-floral merchandising, will succeed McKinney as Fry’s division president.
According to the company, the leadership changes support the Restock Kroger initiative, which aims to remake the food shopping experience for store customers through digital technology and other enhancements, while at the same time delivering value to shareholders.
McKinney began his career with Kroger in 1981 as a clerk for Florida Choice Supermarkets, a former Kroger banner. While there, he advanced to store manager, buyer and field representative. In 1988, he joined Fry’s in Phoenix and served in various leadership positions, including deli director and executive director of operations.
He was named vice president of operations for Fry’s in 1998. In 2006, McKinney was named vice president of operations for Kroger’s Southwest division. In 2007, he was named vice president of operations for the company’s Ralphs division. McKinney was named president of Fry’s in 2013.
“Steve’s nearly 37 years of Kroger experience and deep knowledge of food retail will help our divisions continue to execute with excellence,” said Mike Donnelly, Kroger’s executive vice president and chief operating officer. “Steve has always been passionate about creating uplifting associate and customer experiences. We look forward to him joining our senior leadership team as we continue to drive Restock Kroger.”
Garnes launched her career with Kroger in 1995 when she joined the management training program in the Columbus division. She held a variety of leadership roles during the course of her 23-year career with the company, including serving as human resources coordinator, produce buyer, store manager, public affairs manager and district manager before advancing to produce-floral merchandiser in the division.
Garnes was promoted to vice president of merchandising for the Fry’s division in 2013, and was named to her current role in 2015.
“Monica is a recognized leader in our business and across the industry,” Donnelly said. “She combines a willingness to embrace fresh ideas with a keen business savvy that yields real results. As the company’s first African-American division president, we are excited to have Monica drive and influence change in our company through her expertise and perspective, and we are eager for her to bring her passion for people and results to Fry’s.”
Fry’s is headquartered in Tolleson, Ariz. The company operates 123 stores and employs more than 22,000 associates.