CINCINNATI -- The Kroger Co. has announced the promotion of Mark Tuffin to senior vice president of retail divisions. He succeeds Michael Ellis, who will become Kroger's president and chief operating officer on Jan. 1, 2014.
Ellis has been serving in his current role as senior vice president of retail divisions since 2012, leading five retail supermarket divisions, plus Kroger's jewelry and convenience store businesses.
Tuffin, 53, has been president of the company's Smith's Food & Drug Stores division since 2011. He brings more than 32 years of grocery industry experience to his new role. He held various positions with other supermarket retailers before joining Smith's in 1996, where he held several key leadership roles including vice president of merchandising. In 2009, Tuffin was named vice president of transition for Kroger. In this role, he led Kroger's efforts to implement significant organizational changes between all areas of the business.
"Mark is an exceptional leader with an extensive knowledge of the grocery industry," said Ellis. "He has made significant contributions to our company and industry, while always championing our Customer 1st strategy. We look forward to Mark's leadership in this senior role as we continue to accelerate Kroger's growth."
Cincinnati-based Kroger is the nation's largest traditional grocery retailer, with more than 2,400 supermarkets and multi-department stores in 31 states under two-dozen local banners, including Kroger, City Market, Dillons, Jay C, Food 4 Less, Fred Meyer, Fry's, King Soopers, QFC, Ralphs and Smith's.
The company currently operates more than 1,200 supermarket fuel centers and approximately 790 convenience stores in 19 states: Pueblo, Colo.-based Loaf ‘N Jug in Colorado, New Mexico, Nebraska, Montana, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota and Wyoming; Lancaster, Pa.-based Turkey Hill Minit Markets in Indiana, Ohio and Pennsylvania; Crestview, Fla.-based Tom Thumb Food Stores in Florida and Alabama; Hutchinson, Kansas-based Kwik Shop in Iowa, Kansas, Nebraska, Tennessee and Mississippi; and Fremont, Calif.-based Quik Stop Markets in California and Nevada.