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Kroger Announces Leadership Changes; Tuffin To Retire As SVP

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Cincinnati, Ohio-based Kroger Co. has announced the retirement of Mark Tuffin, SVP of retail divisions, after more than 26 years of service, effective April 1. Tuffin will be succeeded by Kenny Kimball, currently president of the Smith’s division.

Kimball joined the organization in 1984 as a courtesy clerk in the Smith’s division, followed by serving in several leadership roles in the years that followed, including store manager, district manager and bakery director. He was then promoted to group VP of retail operations before being named SVP of sales and merchandising in 2009.

In 2012, Kimball accepted the role of VP of merchandising for the Ralphs division. He was then named VP of operations for Ralphs in 2013. Kimball took on a special assignment for the organization in 2015, before returning to Smith’s as VP of operations in 2016. He was promoted to president of the division later that year.

In the new SVP role, Kimball will oversee several retail divisions across the organization and in the interim will also have responsibility for the Smith’s division.

“Kenny is truly an inspirational leader that effectively balances a passion for people and a passion for results with tremendous experience across our organization, ranging from courtesy clerk to division president,” said Rodney McMullen, Kroger’s chairman and CEO. “He is driven, passionate and respected for his ability to see the big picture while also putting his associates and customers first. We’re excited to bring his perspective and experience to our senior leadership team.”

Tuffin retiring

Tuffin began his career in the grocery industry at Smitty’s in Arizona, where he held various positions before joining Smith’s in 1996. At Smith’s, Tuffin served in a series of leadership roles and was named VP of merchandising in 1999.

In 2009, he was promoted to VP of transition, leading an organizational restructuring of the Kroger enterprise’s then-18 retail divisions. Tuffin moved back to Smith’s in 2011 to serve as president before taking on his current role as SVP of retail divisions in 2014.

“Mark is a tremendous leader whose passion for our customers and our people will leave a lasting legacy across the many divisions he has led,” McMullen said. “We thank Mark for his dedication throughout the years and wish him all the best in retirement.”

The Kroger Co. is comprised of nearly half a million associates who serve over nine million customers daily through a seamless digital shopping experience and 2,800 retail food stores under a variety of banner names.

To learn more, click krogerco.com.

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