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Kroger promotes execs to lead key businesses

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CINCINNATI — Kroger Co. has promoted four executives — including its top merchant, retail operations chief, chief financial officer and chief information officer — to lead key lines of business.

Kroger food drug store ext_WEBThe food and drug retailer said Thursday that it has appointed Mike Donnelly as executive vice president of merchandising, Fred Morganthall as executive VP of retail operations, Mike Schlotman as executive VP and CFO, and Chris Hjelm as executive VP and CIO.

All four executives previously were senior vice presidents. Kroger said each also has been assigned additional responsibilities to streamline decision making under a new organizational structure.

Donnelly will continue to lead Kroger’s merchandising, procurement and marketing teams and has been given additional responsibility for digital, manufacturing and corporate brands, supply chain, culinary innovation, The Little Clinic and Vitacost. Meanwhile, Morganthall will lead all of Kroger’s supermarket retail operations for Kroger and, under the new structure, the company’s three senior VPs responsible for retail divisions will report to him.

Hjelm will continue to serve as CIO and lead Kroger’s technology, research and development, and customer connect and support centers as well as take on additional responsibilities for 84.51 degrees, indirect sourcing and corporate travel. Along with continuing in his role as CFO, Schlotman will add responsibilities for convenience stores, jewelry stores, data integrity and risk management.

“Kroger is fortunate to have an exceptionally strong group of leaders across our company,” chairman and chief executive officer Rodney McMullen said in a statement. “This new organizational structure will help Kroger achieve laser focus to accelerate growth, improve our connection with customers and deliver value for shareholders.”

Also on Thursday, Kroger announced the retirement of Geoff Covert, senior VP of retail divisions, who has been with the company for nearly 20 years. He will be succeeded by Sukanya Madlinger, president of Kroger’s Cincinnati/Dayton division. Taking over Madlinger’s post will be Tim Brown, president of Kroger’s Delta division, based in Memphis, Tenn. Kroger said Brown’s successor will be named later.


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