January 31, 2019

Kroger announces leadership and Board changes

Yael Cosset to succeed Chris Hjelm as CIO

On Jan. 29, 2018, the Kroger co. announced evp and CIO Christopher T. Hjelm, will be succeeded by Yael Cosset, Kroger’s chief digital officer, effective May 1, 2019. Hjelm will remain evp, reporting to Chairman and CEO Rodney McMullen, until his retirement on August 1, 2019.

Cosset will assume responsibility for the Kroger technology function in addition to his current Kroger digital portfolio—underscoring the company’s strategic integration of digital and technology initiatives to deliver customers anything, anytime, anywhere.

“Yael and Chris have worked collaboratively to support Kroger’s technology evolution,” McMullen said. “Consistent with Kroger’s history of thoughtful succession planning, Chris and Yael have a deliberate transition plan to ensure continuity while successfully delivering on our Restock Kroger technology initiatives to redefine the grocery customer experience.”

Stuart W. Aitken promoted to SVP, Alternative Business

To support Restock Kroger and beyond Stuart W. Aitken will be promoted to assume the newly-created role of Senior Vice President, Alternative Business, effective February 3, 2019.

Aitken will assume oversight for Kroger’s successful existing alternative profit businesses, including 84.51° and Kroger Personal Finance (KPF), and lead the development of a full portfolio of alternative businesses to support the transformation of Kroger’s growth model. Aitken will continue to serve as chief executive officer of 84.51° and oversee Kroger’s marketing function.

Mr. Aitken was elected Group Vice President in 2015 and has been responsible for leading Kroger’s data analytics subsidiary, 84.51°, as its CEO since its inception. Aitken has been helping transform Kroger’s marketing efforts as chief marketing officer since 2017.

Ashok Vemuri elected to Kroger Board

On Jan 24, The Kroger Co. announced that Ashok Vemuri has been elected to the company’s Board of Directors. Vemuri has been CEO of Conduent, a global digital interactions company since 2016 when it prepares to separate from Xerox. Prior to Conduent, he served as president, CEO and a member of the board of directors of IGATE Corporation (now Capgemini) and Infosys.

“We are delighted to welcome Ashok to Kroger,” said Rodney McMullen, Kroger’s chairman and CEO. “As we enter our second year of implementing Restock Kroger, Ashok’s deep experience leading several digital and technology services companies will be a tremendous asset to Kroger’s Board of Directors,” McMullen said.

Kendra Doyel promoted to VP, Merchandising at Ralphs

Kroger Subsidiary, Ralphs, announced Kendra Doyel has been promoted to vice president of merchandising for the company, effective Feb. 3. She will report to Mike Murphy, president of the Ralphs division. Doyel succeeds Victor Smith, who was recently promoted to president of Kroger’s Delta division. “Already a valued asset to the Ralphs team, Kendra exemplifies the strategic vision, leadership and execution skills needed for the position,” said Murphy.


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