CINCINNATI, July 19, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- The Kroger Co. (NYSE: KR) today announced the retirement of Houston division President Bill Breetz, and the promotion of Marlene Stewart to succeed him. Ms. Stewart currently serves as president of the company's Dillons division.
Colleen Juergensen will succeed Ms. Stewart as president of Dillons. Ms. Juergensen currently serves as vice president of merchandising of the Smith's division.
Kroger also announced the promotion of Pam Matthews to serve as president of the company's QFC division. Ms. Matthews currently serves as vice president of operations for Kroger's Delta division. She succeeds Dennis Gibson, who was recently named president of the King Soopers/City Market division.
"Kroger has an exceptionally strong team of leaders who are fueling our growth and improving our connection with customers," said Rodney McMullen, Kroger's chairman and CEO. "Marlene, Colleen and Pam bring unmatched depth and experience to their new roles. They will help Kroger continue to make a difference for our customers, associates, and communities – and by doing so create value for our shareholders."
Bill Breetz to Retire After 44 Years of Service
Bill Breetz will retire from the company after 44 years of service, effective August 26.
"Bill's extraordinary career demonstrates a passion for people and a passion for results. He leads by caring deeply about associates and developing future leaders," said Mr. McMullen. "Bill's leadership has contributed to Kroger's success and growth. The entire Kroger family thanks Bill for his many contributions over the years and wishes he and his family all the best in retirement."
Mr. Breetz began his Kroger career in 1972 as a bagger in Louisville, Ky. After earning a degree at the University of Louisville in 1977, he joined the management training program and was named a co-manager in Cincinnati. He served in several leadership positions through the years, including store and district management and vice president of merchandising for the company's Cincinnati/Dayton division. In 2000, Mr. Breetz was promoted to executive vice president of Kroger's Southwest division with responsibility for Operations in Dallas. In 2001, he assumed responsibility for operations in Houston as well. He was named president of the Southwest Division in 2002, and president of the Houston Division in 2015.
Mr. Breetz has been active in a variety of community organizations throughout his career, most recently supporting the Houston Food Bank, the Greater Houston Partnership, the Boy Scouts of America, the Muscular Dystrophy Association and other local charities. Mr. Breetz and his wife, Jo Ann, have three children and three grandchildren.
Marlene Stewart Promoted to President of Houston Division
Marlene Stewart, currently president of the Dillons division, succeeds Mr. Breetz as president of the Houston Division, effective August 28.
Ms. Stewart started her career with Kroger in 1977 as a bagger in the company's Cincinnati division, where she worked full-time while attending the University of Cincinnati. She went on to serve in many leadership roles in Cincinnati, including store and district management, training and merchandising. In 2005, Ms. Stewart was named director of operations for Kroger's Mid-Atlantic division before being named vice president of operations in 2007. She was named vice president of merchandising in the company's QFC division in 2011. She was named to her current role in 2015.
Colleen Juergensen Promoted to President of Dillons Division
Colleen Juergensen, currently vice president of merchandising at the Smith's division, succeeds Ms. Stewart as president of the Dillons division, effective August 28.
Ms. Juergensen began her Kroger career with the Dillons division in 1981. She served in various leadership roles of increasing responsibility including store manager, zone manager, and director of advertising. In 2008, Ms. Juergensen was promoted to Dillons vice president of operations. She was named vice president of operations of Smith's in 2012, and to her current role in 2015.
Pam Matthews Promoted to President of QFC Division
Pam Matthews, currently vice president of operations for the Delta division, has been promoted to president of the QFC Division, effective August 1. She replaces Dennis Gibson, who was recently named president of the King Soopers/City Market Division.
Ms. Matthews began her career with the company's Fred Meyer division, based in Portland, Ore, in 1980.
Throughout her 25-year career with Fred Meyer, she held a variety of leadership roles in store management, Corporate Brand development, and merchandising. Ms. Matthews also served as director of deli/bakery merchandising and director of floral merchandising and procurement at Kroger's general offices in Cincinnati before being promoted to vice president of merchandising for the Central division in 2006. She was named vice president of merchandising for the Delta Division in 2014 and to her current role in 2015.
Every day, the Kroger Family of Companies makes a difference in the lives of eight and a half million customers and 431,000 associates who shop or serve in 2,778 retail food stores under a variety of local banner names in 35 states and the District of Columbia. Kroger and its subsidiaries operate an expanding ClickList offering – a personalized, order online, pick up at the store service – in addition to 2,230 pharmacies, 785 convenience stores, 323 fine jewelry stores, 1,400 supermarket fuel centers and 38 food production plants in the United States. Kroger is recognized as one of America's most generous companies for its support of more than 100 Feeding America food bank partners, breast cancer research and awareness, the military and their families, and more than 145,000 community organizations including schools. A leader in supplier diversity, Kroger is a proud member of the Billion Dollar Roundtable.