Jerry Clontz, president of the Mid-Atlantic division for The Kroger Co., is retiring after more than 48 years of service with the Kroger family of companies. Paula Ginnett, currently a VP, will assume the role, effective Nov. 1.
“Jerry has been an outstanding leader and colleague over his nearly five decades with the organization,” said Mike Donnelly, Kroger’s EVP and COO. “His passion for both people and results has been exemplified throughout his career. We applaud his mentorship and development of associates and teams across our family of companies.”
Clontz joined Harris Teeter in 1971 as a bagger in North Carolina. Since then, he has held various retail positions, including store manager, store director and field specialist. He was named a district manager in 1991 and then promoted to regional director three years later.
In 1997, he was named a regional VP. Clontz contributed to Harris Teeter’s expansion to several markets during his tenure, including Washington, D.C., Northern Virginia, Southern Maryland and Coastal Delaware. He was named SVP of operations in 2007, and under his leadership, Harris Teeter added 79 new stores. In 2017, Clontz was named to his current role.
“Paula is well-respected in the industry for being both a dynamic leader and a top retail strategist,” said Donnelly. “She brings more than 25 years of retail experience to her new role as president of our Mid-Atlantic division. We look forward to her leadership in redefining the grocery customer experience, developing talent and living our purpose.”
Ginnett joined Kroger after more than 25 years with Walmart Inc. For the past five years, she served as VP, regional GM for Walmart U.S., based in Phoenix. In her most recent role, Ginnett led 188 stores and 45,000 employees. Previously, she served as VP of store planning, where she led Walmart U.S. and Sam’s Club real estate execution for new store openings, remodels and special projects. She also has held various leadership positions in merchandising and operations.
Ginnett graduated from Capella University with a BS in Business Administration. Throughout her career, she’s volunteered with the American Cancer Society, Making Strides, American Heart Association, Children’s Miracle Network and Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure.
Kroger’s Mid-Atlantic division operates 110 stores across five states and employs more than 15,000 associates.