Kenny Kimball, VP of merchandising for The Kroger Co.’s Ralphs division in Southern California, has been named VP of operations for Ralphs. He replaces Steve McKinney, who recently was promoted to president of Kroger’s Fry’s division in Phoenix, Ariz. With Kimball’s move to operations, Valerie Jabbar, VP of merchandising for Kroger’s Mid-Atlantic division, will move across the country to become VP of merchandising for Ralphs.
Kimball joined Smith’s in 1984 and served in various leadership roles in the division, including district manager and bakery director. He also served as group VP of retail operations for Smith’s before being named SVP of sales and merchandising in 2009. Kimball has successfully led the Ralphs marketing team since 2012, and his vast experience in operations will further strengthen Ralphs, according to Donna Giordano, Ralphs division president.
Jabbar began her career with the company in 1987 as a clerk in the Fry’s division. Since then, she has held a number of roles, including assistant store director, category manager, drug/GM coordinator, assistant director of drug/GM, director of drug/GM and district manager. She was promoted to her most recent role in the Mid-Atlantic division in 2012.
“Kenny and Valerie live our values and have proven to be great leaders within our company,” Giordano said in an internal memo last month that announced the promotions. “Kenny brings vast knowledge and expertise in operations that will be very beneficial to Ralphs while Valerie’s extensive merchandising experience will help lead the division as we continue to focus on our customers.”
Kimball and Jabbar, whose new roles became effective Monday, report to Giordano.