CINCINNATI, Sept. 10, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- The Kroger Co. (NYSE: KR) today announced the appointment of four executive vice presidents to lead key lines of business. Mike Donnelly has been named EVP of merchandising, Chris Hjelm has been named EVP and CIO; Fred Morganthall has been named EVP of retail operations; and Mike Schlotman has been named EVP and CFO. Each leader has been assigned additional responsibilities to streamline decision making under this new organizational structure.
"Kroger is fortunate to have an exceptionally strong group of leaders across our company," said Rodney McMullen, Kroger's chairman and CEO. "Our entire senior leadership team brings unmatched depth and experience to achieve our goals. This new organizational structure will help Kroger achieve laser-focus to accelerate growth, improve our connection with customers and deliver value for shareholders."
Also today, Kroger announced the retirement of senior vice president of retail divisions Geoff Covert, and the promotion of Sukanya Madlinger as his successor. Mrs. Madlinger currently serves as the president of Kroger's Cincinnati/Dayton division. She will be succeeded by Tim Brown, who currently serves as president of Kroger's Delta division, based in Memphis. Mr. Brown's successor will be named at a later date.
Mike Donnelly Named Executive Vice President of Merchandising Mike Donnelly, 57, formerly senior vice president, will continue to lead the company's merchandising, procurement and marketing teams. He has additional responsibility for digital, manufacturing and corporate brands, supply chain, culinary innovation, The Little Clinic and Vitacost. Mr. Donnelly joined the company at Fry's Food Stores in California in 1978 and was promoted to his current position in 2011.
Chris Hjelm Named Executive Vice President and Chief Information Officer Chris Hjelm, 54, formerly senior vice president and chief information officer, will continue to serve as CIO and lead Kroger Technology, research & development, and the company's customer connect and support centers. In this expanded role, he will take on additional responsibilities for 84.51 degrees, indirect sourcing and corporate travel. Mr. Hjelm joined Kroger in 2005.
Mike Schlotman Named Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer Mike Schlotman, 57, formerly senior vice president and chief financial officer, will continue to serve as CFO. In this expanded role, he will take on additional responsibilities for convenience stores, jewelry stores, data integrity and risk management. Mr. Schlotman joined the company in 1985. He was promoted to CFO in 2000.
Fred Morganthall Named Executive Vice President, Retail Operations Fred Morganthall, 64, formerly senior vice president of retail divisions, will lead all supermarket retail operations for Kroger. Under this new structure, Kroger's three senior vice presidents responsible for retail divisions will report to him. Mr. Morganthall began his career in grocery retail in 1978 with Spartan Stores in Michigan and joined Harris Teeter in 1986. He joined Kroger in 2014 as part of the Kroger-Harris Teeter merger and was promoted to his current position in June.
Geoff Covert Announces Retirement Mr. Covert, 64, is retiring after nearly 20 years with the company. Before joining Kroger, he spent 22 years in a number of management positions with Procter & Gamble. Mr. Covert joined Kroger in 1996 as vice president of the grocery products group. He later served as senior vice president and president of Kroger manufacturing, before being named president of the company's Cincinnati/Dayton division. In 2010, he was promoted to senior vice president of retail operations. Mr. Covert has served in his current role since 2012.
"We have valued Geoff's insights and contributions to our manufacturing and retail operations teams," said Mr. McMullen. "We thank Geoff for his many years of dedicated service to Kroger, and wish him and his family the very best in retirement."
Sukanya Madlinger Promoted to Senior Vice President of Retail Divisions Mrs. Madlinger, 52, succeeds Mr. Covert as senior vice president of retail divisions. She joined Kroger in 1986 in the store management training program and has held various leadership positions in operations and merchandising before being named to her current role as president of the Cincinnati/Dayton division in 2010.
"Sukanya is an outstanding executive whose leadership has always reflected her passion for our associates and the customers we serve," said Mr. McMullen. "Her experience and commitment to our Customer 1st strategy will make her a great addition to our senior leadership team."
Tim Brown Promoted to President of Cincinnati/Dayton Division Mr. Brown, 55, succeeds Mrs. Madlinger as president of Kroger's Cincinnati/Dayton division. He began his Kroger career at the age of 17, working as a bagger at a store in Illinois. He joined the company's management training program in 1981. Throughout his 38-year career, Mr. Brown has served in leadership positions in merchandising and operations in seven of Kroger's retail divisions and at the company's general office in Cincinnati. He has been president of Kroger's Delta division since 2012.
"Tim is a dynamic leader whose commitment to our associates, customers and communities is an example for others to follow," said Mr. McMullen. "He brings a broad range of experience to our Cincinnati/Dayton division."
Kroger, one of the world's largest retailers, employs nearly 400,000 associates who serve customers in 2,626 supermarkets and multi-department stores in 34 states and the District of Columbia under two dozen local banner names including Kroger, City Market, Dillons, Food 4 Less, Fred Meyer, Fry's, Harris Teeter, Jay C, King Soopers, QFC, Ralphs and Smith's. The company also operates 780 convenience stores, 327 fine jewelry stores, 1,342 supermarket fuel centers and 37 food processing plants in the U.S. Recognized by Forbes as the most generous company in America, Kroger supports hunger relief, breast cancer awareness, the military and their families, and more than 30,000 schools and community organizations. Kroger contributes food and funds equal to 200 million meals a year through more than 100 Feeding America food bank partners. A leader in supplier diversity, Kroger is a proud member of the Billion Dollar Roundtable and the U.S. Hispanic Chamber's Million Dollar Club.
SOURCE The Kroger Co.