Kroger's Dillon to Retire

Grocery/c-store retailer announces CEO succession plan

David Dillon (left), Rodney McMullen

David Dillon (left), Rodney McMullen

CINCINNATI -- David B. Dillon, 62, a 37-year Kroger veteran who has been serving as chief executive officer since 2003, will retire as CEO on Jan. 1, 2014, while continuing to serve as chairman through Dec. 31, 2014.

W. Rodney McMullen, 53, Kroger's president and chief operating officer, will become CEO on Jan. 1. McMullen joined Kroger in 1978 on a part-time basis on a stock crew and has been president and COO since 2009 and a director since 2003. He previously held a variety of senior management positions including vice chairman; executive vice president of strategy, planning and finance; and chief financial officer.

"As Kroger implements its strategic growth initiatives, the time is right for the transition of leadership," said Dillon. "I am delighted that the board has elected Rodney McMullen to succeed me. Rodney has played a leadership role in every major decision Kroger has made for the past 25 years, including the development and implementation of Kroger's 'customer 1st' approach as well as our current growth strategy. He is ready to be CEO. I have been honored to lead this great company for over 10 years and look forward to assisting Rodney and the board in the transition while continuing to serve as chairman." 

Robert D. Beyer, Kroger's lead director, said, "The board has planned carefully for this leadership succession. We are confident Kroger will continue its growth momentum during the transition and under Rodney McMullen's leadership. Rodney has the right skills and experience to build on Dave's accomplishments and leverage Kroger's strong platform in the years ahead."

Cincinnati, Ohio-based Kroger operates 2,418 supermarkets in 31 states under two-dozen local banners. Kroger also operates more than 1,090 supermarket fuel centers and 783 convenience stores in 18 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 Pennsylvania; Crestview, Fla.-based Tom Thumb Food Stores in Florida and Alabama; Hutchinson, Kansas-based Kwik Shop in Illinois, Iowa, Kansas and Nebraska; Fremont Calif.-based Quik Stop Markets in California and Nevada, and Salt Lake City-based Smith's Express in Utah.