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Kroger announces retirement of Bill Breetz, names three new division presidents

The Kroger Co. announced the retirement of Houston division President Bill Breetz and the promotion of Marlene Stewart to succeed him. Stewart currently serves as president of the company’s Dillons division.

Colleen Juergensen, who currently serves as vice president of merchandising of the Smith’s division, will succeed Stewart as president of Dillons.krolog

Kroger also announced the promotion of Pam Matthews to serve as president of the company’s QFC division. 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,” Rodney McMullen, Kroger’s chairman and chief executive officer, said in a press release. “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’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 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.”

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, 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.

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. Breetz and his wife, Jo Ann, have three children and three grandchildren.

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, 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.

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, she 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.

Matthews began her career with the company’s Fred Meyer division, based in Portland, OR, 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. 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.

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Kroger shuffles division presidents

Kroger Co. said Tuesday that Jay Cummins has been named president of the Smith’s Food & Drug Stores division, and Joe Fey has been named to succeed him as president of Kroger’s Mid-Atlantic division.

Kroger Smith's Food & Drug president Jay CumminsCummins, 62, succeeds Mark Tuffin, who had been named SVP of retail divisions at Kroger in December. Cummins began his Kroger career in 1972 as a clerk in Huntington, Beach, Calif., and later had management and merchandising roles in Kroger’s Food 4 Less division. In 2002, he was named VP and general manager at the Food 4 Less Midwest division, where he led the expansion of the price-impact format in the Chicago area. He was named president of Food 4 Less in 2004 and president of the Mid-Atlantic division in 2007.

“In his more than 40 years with the company, Jay has been an enthusiastic and passionate leader in each role he has held,” said Mike Ellis, Kroger’s president and COO. “Jay’s experience and commitment to our ‘customer 1st’ strategy will ensure Smith’s continues to go above and beyond for our customers.”

Smith’s, based in Salt Lake City, operates 131 stores in Utah, Nevada, New Mexico, Arizona, Montana, Idaho and Wyoming.

Read more: Kroger names Tuffin SVP of retail operations

Fey, 59, has president of the company’s QFC division in the Pacific Northwest. He began his career as a meat clerk with Kroger in 1972 while in college. He was promoted to a variety of leadership positions in management and merchandising in the company’s Central division and corporate office in Cincinnati. In 1999, Fey was named VP of merchandising for the Dillons division. He was named VP of merchandising for the Michigan Division in 2008, before being named president of QFC in 2011.


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“Joe always leads by example and is deeply committed to our customers, our associates and our company,” said Ellis. “His merchandising expertise and experience in leading the QFC Division will be great assets in our Mid-Atlantic division. We are looking forward to his positive energy and guidance.”

Kroger’s Mid-Atlantic division, based in Roanoke, Va., operates 121 stores in Virginia, West Virginia, North Carolina and the eastern portions of Tennessee, Kentucky and Ohio.

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Farm Fresh, Shoppers Get New Presidents

MINNEAPOLIS — Supervalu said it has appointed Mickey Nye as the new president of its Virginia Beach-based Farm Fresh division, while Bob Gleeson was named president of Shoppers Food & Pharmacy, Bowie, Md.

Nye most recently was vice president at Shoppers. She has nearly 40 years of experience in the grocery industry, working in a variety of store, merchandising, retail operations and management positions at Shaw’s Supermarkets, Pathmark, Albertsons and Supervalu. Prior to Shoppers, Nye was area vice president for Albertsons Southern California division. She is a Hall of Fame inductee into the Connecticut Food Association.


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Gleeson began his career with Shoppers in 1984 as a grocery assistant, successfully working his way into multiple leadership roles. During his 29 years with Shoppers, he has served as director of grocery as well as vice president of Center Store. Most recently, Gleeson held the position of senior vice president of merchandising for the banner.

Both appointments were effective immediately. At Farm Fresh, Nye succeeds Bill Parker, who resigned last month. Gleeson succeeds Bob Bly, who resigned in July.

Read more: Parker Exits Farm Fresh; Bly Exits as President of Shoppers

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