Fred Meyer named Jeff Burt its new president, following current president Lynn Gust’s retirement, effective Jan. 31. Burt is currently president of Kroger’s Central division.
Gust is retiring after 45 years with the company. He began working for Kroger in 1970 as a parcel clerk at Kroger’s banner, Fred Meyer. He joined Fred Meyer’s food management program in 1972 and was later promoted to a handful of leadership roles within the division, including food department manager, training coordinator, grocery buyer and director of grocery sales and merchandising. Gust served as gvp of the food group and was appointed svp of the store operations group in 2003. Three years later in 2006, Gust was promoted to evp of corporate merchandising and advertising. He was named vp of operations in 2011 before Gust’s promotion to president of Fred Meyer in 2012. Fred Meyer earned $10 billion in annual sales for the first time in the company’s history under Gust’s leadership.
“Throughout his distinguished career, Lynn as always led by empowering, encouraging and supporting others,” said Rodney McMullen, Kroger’s chairman and CEO, in a press release. “Lynn is widely respected throughout our company and industry for his passion for people, the food business, and the communities we serve. The entire Kroger family wishes Lynn and his family all the best in retirement.”
Burt is currently president of Kroger’s Central Division, and he will be appointed president of Fred Meyer upon Gust’s retirement. A replacement for Burt’s current position hasn’t been named yet.
“Jeff is a strong, dynamic leader who brings out the best in our associates,” McMullen said in a statement. “His enthusiasm for serving our customers combined with both broad and deep experience in our business – including in the Pacific Northwest – will serve our Fred Meyer team well. We are grateful he agreed to take on this important role.”
Burt began working for Kroger in 1986 as a management trainee. During his tenure with the company, Burt has worked as a store manger, produce merchandiser and vp of merchandising and operations. Burt was named corporate vp of deli and bakery merchandising and procurement in 2004. Six years later in 2010, Burt was named gvp of perishables merchandising and procurement. He was named president of Kroger’s Central Division in 2013.
Fred Meyer has headquarters in Portland, Oregon and offers 132 multi-department stores throughout Alaska, Idaho, Oregon and Washington.