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Fred Meyer Gets New President As Gust Retires After 45 Years

Lynn Gust
Lynn Gust

Last updated on June 14th, 2024 at 09:46 am

Lynn Gust, president of Fred Meyer Stores, will retire Jan. 31 after 45 years of service to The Kroger Co., which owns the banner. Jeff Burt, who currently serves as president of Kroger’s Central Division, will succeed Gust. Fred Meyer is based in Portland, Oregon, and operates 132 stores in Alaska, Idaho, Oregon and Washington.

“Throughout his distinguished career, Lynn as always led by empowering, encouraging and supporting others,” said Rodney McMullen, Kroger’s chairman and CEO. “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.”

Gust started his career with Kroger in 1970 as a parcel clerk at Fred Meyer’s Fourth Plain store in Vancouver, Washington. In 1972, he entered Fred Meyer’s food management program and advanced to serve in a variety of leadership roles in the division, including food department manager, training coordinator, grocery buyer and director of grocery sales and merchandising. He also attended the Cornell Food Executive Program in 1994. After serving as group VP for the food group, he was named SVP of the store operations group in 2003. Gust was named EVP of corporate merchandising and advertising in 2006, followed by VP of operations in 2011. He was promoted to president of Fred Meyer in 2012.

Under his leadership, Fred Meyer reached $10 billion in annual sales for the first time. Also under his leadership, Fred Meyer was recognized twice as one of Oregon’s “Best Places to Work” by the Portland Business Journal, and twice as one of Oregon’s “Healthiest Places to Work” by The Oregonian.

Following his retirement, Gust and his wife Julie plan to continue to be active in many community organizations in Portland and beyond, including serving on the Board of Trustees for Randall Children’s Hospital.

Jeff Burt
Jeff Burt

Burt currently leads Kroger’s Central Division, which operates food stores primarily in Indiana and Illinois. His successor will be named at a later date.

“Jeff is a strong, dynamic leader who brings out the best in our associates,” said McMullen. “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 his career with Kroger in 1986 as a management trainee. He has held a variety of leadership positions with the company in Cincinnati, Florida, Indianapolis and Seattle, including store manager, produce merchandiser and VP of merchandising and operations. In 2004, he was named corporate VP of deli/bakery merchandising and procurement, before being promoted to group VP of perishables merchandising and procurement in 2010. He has served as president of Kroger’s Central Division since 2013.

About the author

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The Shelby Report delivers complete grocery news and supermarket insights nationwide through the distribution of five monthly regional print and digital editions. Serving the retail food trade since 1967, The Shelby Report is “Region Wise. Nationwide.”

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