Vice Chairman to Become Kroger President

DAN SEWELL | AP Business Writer

CINCINNATI (AP) - The nation's largest traditional grocery store chain said Thursday the company will have a new president.

The Kroger Co. announced at its annual shareholders meeting that W. Rodney McMullen, currently vice chairman, will succeed Don McGeorge as president and chief operating officer on Aug. 1. McGeorge, 55, is retiring after 32 years at the Cincinnati-based company.

McGeorge will remain about six months as a special adviser to David B. Dillon, the chairman and CEO, during the transition.

"He wanted to do some other things, so we're just going to change up our organization a little bit," Dillon said in an interview. "Rodney, of course, has been here a long time, too, and is a very talented executive. He started in the stores, just like I did."

McMullen has been a key financial strategist for nearly two decades for a company that had $76 billion in sales last year.

McMullen, 48, was named vice chairman in 2003, when Dillon became CEO and McGeorge president. Dillon, 58, became chairman in 2004.

McMullen became executive vice president of strategy, planning and finance in 2000 and has also been Kroger's chief financial officer and corporate controller.

A native of Williamstown, Ky., McMullen first worked for Kroger in a 1978 as a part-time stock clerk and has been a full-time employee since 1982. He recounted Thursday that McGeorge, a London, Ky., native, was one of his first store managers, in Lexington, Ky.

Kroger operates 2,475 supermarkets and multi-department stores in 31 states, under two dozen local banners including Ralphs, Fred Meyer, Food 4 Less, Fry's, King Soopers, Smith's, Dillons, QFC and City Market.


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