CINCINNATI — Kroger is promoting several executives as the retailer continues to remake its business through its Restock Kroger plan.
“We are making progress on redefining the customer experience, and our high-performing leaders are determined to maintain that momentum in year two of Restock Kroger and beyond,” Mike Donnelly, Kroger’s executive vice president and chief operating officer, said in a press release. “Each of these promotions is consistent with Kroger’s track record of strong succession planning and will help ensure we continue driving toward our growth objectives.”
Personnel moves announced April 9 and effective May 1 are:
- Mary Ellen Adcock has been promoted to senior vice president of retail operations. 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. Adcock graduated magna cum laude from Vanderbilt University and earned a bachelor’s degree in human and organizational development. She earned her MBA from the University of Colorado. “Mary Ellen quickly established herself as a key contributor to both the sales and operations organization as well as to the senior executive team,” according to Donnelly. “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.”
- Joe Grieshaber, currently president of the Fred Meyer division, has been promoted to senior vice president, merchandising.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. Grieshaber holds a bachelor’s degree in marketing from Western Kentucky University. “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.
- Robert Clark, currently senior vice president of merchandising, was named senior vice president, supply chain, manufacturing and sourcing. Clark began his career with the company in 1985 as a courtesy clerk at Fry’s Food Stores in Arizona. He has since held positions in store and district management as well as in grocery merchandising. In 2002, Clark 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. “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.
In addition, Kroger announced several division presidents, and one retirement.
Dennis Gibson, president of the King Soopers division, has been promoted to president of the Fred Meyer division, effective May 1. He succeeds 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 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.
Between 2007 and 2013, he held fresh merchandising roles, 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, N.C., 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 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.