Donald Becker, executive vice president at The Kroger Co., passed away Wednesday in Cincinnati. He was 62.

Kroger, Donald Becker, food and drug retailer, executive vice president, pharmacy, drug, David Dillon, supermarket

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Kroger mourns loss of grocery/pharmacy exec

February 17th, 2011

CINCINNATI – Donald Becker, executive vice president at The Kroger Co., passed away Wednesday in Cincinnati. He was 62.

The food and drug retailer said Becker, who was with the company for more than 40 years, died after suffering an aneurysm.

As executive vice president, Becker led the Kroger's merchandising and procurement for grocery, perishables, drug and general merchandise, and pharmacy. The company said he also had responsibility for advertising, consumer research and customer loyalty; manufacturing and corporate brands; customer insights and strategy; supply chain; and supplier diversity. 

"We are deeply saddened to lose Don, our dear friend and extraordinary leader," David Dillon, chairman and chief executive officer of Kroger, said in a statement. "Don leaves a legacy of enthusiasm and passion for doing what's right for our customers and our associates. He touched the lives of countless people in our company as well as throughout our industry and community. He was a true 'people person' who mentored many associates at every level of our business."

Becker joined Kroger in 1969 as a clerk in the Cincinnati/Dayton division. During his career, he held a number of leadership positions, including vice president of the Cincinnati/Dayton division and president of the Central division. He was promoted to senior vice president in 2000 and to executive vice president in 2004.

"He was an innovative leader who led our merchandising and procurement teams through great expansion and change," commented Rodney McMullen, Kroger's president and chief operating officer. "Don's deep industry knowledge and strong leadership skills engaged and inspired those around him. He was a great teacher and friend who was also eager to learn from others. We will all miss him deeply."

Kroger added that the Cincinnati/Dayton division and The Little Clinic reported to Becker, who also was passionate about inclusion and diversity and served as co-chair of Kroger's first General Office Cultural Council.