Kroger Executive’s Retirement Results In Two Promotions

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The Kroger Co.’s SVP of retail divisions, Sukanya Madlinger, is retiring. Calvin Kaufman, who currently serves as president of Kroger’s Louisville division, will succeed her. Kroger also has promoted Ann Reed to serve as president of the Louisville division. She currently serves as VP, Customer 1st Promise, at the company’s general office.


Madlinger will retire from the company after 31 years of service, effective June 19.

“Throughout her accomplished career, Sukanya has exemplified true leadership,” said Rodney McMullen, Kroger’s chairman and CEO. “Sukanya’s focus on developing future talent and fostering strong partnerships helped build a deep bench of leaders to sustain Kroger’s future growth. The entire Kroger family wishes her and her family the best in retirement.”

Madlinger joined Kroger in 1986 as a store management trainee in the Cincinnati/Dayton division and has held a variety of leadership positions in stores and merchandising throughout her tenure. In 2003, she was named VP of drug/general merchandise/pharmacy merchandising and procurement for Kroger’s corporate office in Cincinnati. Madlinger returned to the Cincinnati/Dayton division in 2008 as VP of merchandising and was promoted to lead the division as president in 2010. She was promoted to her current role as SVP of retail stores in 2015.


“Calvin is an unwavering advocate for improving the customer and associate experience in ways that will accelerate growth and create shareholder value,” said McMullen. “His passion for strengthening our corporate culture and clarifying our company purpose makes him a natural fit for our leadership team.”

Kaufman joined Kroger in 1994 in the Fred Meyer Logistics group in Portland, Oregon. He served Fred Meyer in several different logistics roles, including group VP of Fred Meyer Logistics. Kaufman went on to serve in several leadership roles with Kroger’s logistics team before being named president of Kroger Manufacturing and Corporate Brands in 2008. He was named to his current role as president of the Louisville division in 2013.

Kaufman previously has represented Kroger on the boards of the International Dairy Foods Association, American Baker’s Association and the Kentucky Retail Federation.

He and his family will relocate to the Cincinnati area.


Kroger’s Louisville division operates stores across Kentucky and southern Indiana.

“Ann has shown tremendous leadership in driving our Customer 1st Promise and company purpose into our business strategy,” said McMullen. “Ann brings to our Louisville division team her dedication to and deep understanding of our customers, associates and communities.”

Reed began her career with Kroger as a co-manager in the company’s Central division in 1993. She has served in a number of leadership positions in divisions and at Kroger’s general office, including store manager, category manager, deli/bakery merchandiser, director of deli/bakery and director of fresh ready meals. Reed was promoted to VP of merchandising at Fry’s in 2010, followed by VP of merchandising at Fred Meyer in 2013. She was named to her current position in 2015.

Reed and her family will relocate to the Louisville area.

About The Author

A former newspaper editor and publisher who has handled digital duties for The Shelby Report since 2011. She once enjoyed leisurely perusing the grocery store aisles but, since having a baby in 2016, is now an enthusiastic click-and-collect shopper.