Kroger promotes EVP merchandising to EVP and COO

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Kroger promotes EVP merchandising to EVP and COO

By Michael Johnsen - 10/24/2017

CINCINNATI — Kroger Monday afternoon named its executive leadership team to support the company's Restock Kroger Plan.



"Kroger is fortunate to have a leadership team that combines deep experience with creative new talent as we strategically reposition the company through our Restock Kroger Plan," stated Rodney McMullen, Kroger's chairman and CEO.



Fred Morganthall, Kroger's EVP retail operations, will retire after 31 years of service, effective Nov. 30. Mike Donnelly, currently Kroger's EVP merchandising, will assume responsibility for both operations and merchandising as EVP and COO, effective Nov. 1.



Kroger's key lines of business continue to be led by three EVPs who are driving execution of Restock Kroger: Donnelly, Mike Schlotman, who serves as EVP and CFO, and Chris Hjelm, who serves as EVP and chief information officer.



Mike Donnelly Named EVP and COO

"Mike and his team will help us redefine the food and grocery experience for customers and drive sales," McMullen said. "By bringing merchandising and operations together under Mike's leadership, we will build synergies between our teams and accelerate our efforts to establish a truly seamless customer experience."



Donnelly began his career at Fry's Food Stores in California in 1978. He advanced to several leadership positions at Fry's, including district management. He was named VP merchandising for Fry's in 1995 and promoted to president of the Fry's division in 2000. He has served as Kroger's SVP drug/GM, president of the company's Ralphs division and SVP merchandising before being promoted to his current position in 2015.



Fred Morganthall to Retire after 31 Years of Service

Morganthall will retire from the company after 31 years of service, and 44 years in the food industry.



"There are few people in our industry as widely respected as Fred," McMullen said. "He worked tirelessly to establish the Harris Teeter brand and, after our merger, to help position Kroger for future success. We've all benefited from Fred's passion for grocery retail and operational excellence. We are grateful for Fred's distinguished service and many contributions to Kroger and Harris Teeter, and we wish him and his family all the best."



Morganthall's professional life began at Procter & Gamble in 1973. His career in grocery retail began in 1978 at Spartan Stores in Grand Rapids, Mich., where he was responsible for grocery, frozen and dairy purchasing as well as general merchandise and beauty care. In 1986, he joined Harris Teeter as director of grocery merchandising. With Harris Teeter, Morganthall served in a number of executive management positions, including VP merchandising, VP distribution and VP operations before being named president in 1997.



Under his leadership, Harris Teeter grew and firmly established its identity as a retailer that provides exceptional customer service and in-store experience.



After the 2013 merger of Kroger and Harris Teeter, Morganthall was named Kroger's SVP in June 2015. He was promoted to his current role, EVP retail operations, in September 2015.



Morganthall has been an active leader in industry organizations, including serving as chair of the Food Marketing Institute. In 2016, FMI honored him with its most prestigious leadership recognition, the Sidney R. Rabb Award.