Ann Reed was promoted to succeed Kaufman. Reed has been serving as vice president of Customer 1st Promise, overseer of the “Customer 1st Strategy” Kroger adopted 13 years ago to enrich the shopping experience and keep customers coming back to its stores.
Kroger has also announced that Paul Bowen, president of the Jay C and Ruler division, is retiring from the company June 21, ending 46 years of service with the retailer.
Madlinger’s departure date is June 19. She joined Kroger 31 years ago.
“Throughout her accomplished career, Sukanya has exemplified true leadership,” Rodney McMullen, Kroger’s chairman and chief executive officer, said in a statement. “Sukanya’s focus on developing future talent and fostering strong partnerships helped build a deep bench of leaders to sustain Kroger’s future growth. The entire Kroger family wishes her and her family the best in retirement.”
Madlinger’s first job with Kroger was as a store management trainee in the Cincinnati/Dayton division, in 1986. She showed sufficient promise as a manager to win promotion to a variety of leadership positions in stores and merchandising operations, Kroger said.
In 2003, she was named vice president of drug/general merchandise/pharmacy merchandising and procurement for Kroger’s corporate office in Cincinnati. Madlinger returned to the Cincinnati/Dayton division in 2008 as vice president of merchandising, and was promoted to lead the division as president in 2010. She was promoted to her current role as senior vice president of retail stores in 2015.
Kaufman came to the company in 1994, taking a job in the Fred Meyer Logistics group in Portland, Ore. He served Fred Meyer in several logistics roles, including group vice president of Fred Meyer Logistics. He went on to serve in leadership roles with Kroger’s logistics team before being named president of Kroger Manufacturing and Corporate Brands, in 2008. He was named president of the Louisville Division in 2013.
“Calvin is an unwavering advocate for improving the customer and associate experience in ways that will accelerate growth and create shareholder value,” McMullen said. “His passion for strengthening our corporate culture and clarifying our company purpose makes him a natural fit for our leadership team.”
Reed joined Kroger in 1993 as a comanager in the Central division. She went on to serve in leadership posts in divisions and at Kroger’s general office, with jobs as store manager, category manager, deli/bakery merchandiser, director of deli/bakery and director of fresh ready meals. Reed was named vice president of merchandising at Fry’s in 2010 and vice president of merchandising at Fred Meyer in 2013.