EXECUTIVE CHANGES: KROGER'S ZINCKE RETIRES; FIVE OTHERS PROMOTED...COIA JOINS NGA AS VP, COMMUNICATIONS...AHOLD NAMES KARIS TO OVERSEE MERCHANDISING

KROGER'S ZINCKE RETIRES; FIVE OTHERS PROMOTEDZincke plans to retire Oct. 31 after a 40-year career with the company, most recently as executive vice president overseeing Kroger's merchandising strategy. Kroger also announced the promotion of five veteran executives. Zincke joined Kroger as a management trainee in 1964. From 1990 to 2002, he served as president of Kroger's Southwest Division. In 2002,

KROGER'S ZINCKE RETIRES; FIVE OTHERS PROMOTED

Zincke plans to retire Oct. 31 after a 40-year career with the company, most recently as executive vice president overseeing Kroger's merchandising strategy. Kroger also announced the promotion of five veteran executives. Zincke joined Kroger as a management trainee in 1964. From 1990 to 2002, he served as president of Kroger's Southwest Division. In 2002, he was promoted to senior vice president of the company, overseeing several retail divisions. Last year, he was promoted to his current position.

The company also said that Donald E. Becker has been promoted to executive vice president and assumes responsibility for Kroger's overall merchandising. For the past four years, he has served as senior vice president, overseeing six retail operating divisions. Prior to that, he spent four years as president of Kroger's Central Division in Indianapolis.

Paul Scutt has been promoted to senior vice president of Kroger. Scutt, who previously was group vice president of retail operations, will continue to be responsible for identifying and coordinating best practices to improve operating efficiency, as well as store productivity, shrink and worker safety. He also served as president of Kroger's Central Division for two years.

John Burgon has been promoted to senior vice president, overseeing five operating divisions. For the past three years, he has served as president of Kroger's Ralphs Grocery chain, based in Los Angeles. Prior to that, he spent four years as president of King Soopers, Denver. He has held a variety of management positions at Kroger, including executive vice president of Fry's and vice president of Dillon Cos.

Dave Hirz has been promoted to succeed Burgon as president of Ralphs. He was president of Food 4 Less, Kroger's price-impact warehouse division, since 1999. Prior to that, he served as group vice president of operations. He joined Food 4 Less in 1991. A successor to Mr. Hirz at Food 4 Less will be named at a later date.

Mike Ellis was promoted to group vice president of grocery, drug/general merchandise and pharmacy merchandising, procurement and advertising. For the past five years he has served as senior vice president, food group, for Kroger's Fred Meyer division. He will be based in Cincinnati.

COIA JOINS NGA AS VP, COMMUNICATIONS

ARLINGTON, Va. -- The National Grocers Association here said last week it named David Alan Coia new vice president of communications and marketing. He will be responsible for developing and implementing NGA's communications and marketing programs, including oversight of the association's Web site and publications. Coia co-founded and edited Advantage magazine for Food Marketing Institute, Washington, and before that was director of communications for Food Distributors International, Falls Church, Va. While at FDI, Coia developed and edited Food Distributor magazine. Prior to his trade association work, he was a newspaper reporter for The Washington Times. Coia began his working career in the grocery industry with Cousin Andy's, A&P and IGA/Scot Lad grocery stores. "David knows the industry and will be a valuable asset in communicating NGA's mission and objectives," said Tom Zaucha, president and chief executive officer, NGA.

AHOLD NAMES KARIS TO OVERSEE MERCHANDISING

ZAANDAM, Netherlands -- Ahold here, parent of the Stop & Shop, Giant-Landover, Giant-Carlisle, Tops, Bi-Lo and Bruno's chains in the United States, named Bart Karis senior vice president, general merchandising, effective Dec. 1. He will report directly to Anders Moberg, Ahold's president and chief executive officer, and will be responsible for developing and implementing a general merchandising strategy for the company, from product development and sourcing to supply-chain management. Karlis spent the last 15 years with Swedish home-furnishings retailer Ikea, most recently as vice president, Retail Europe. Moberg also served with Ikea before joining Ahold last year in the wake of the company's accounting scandal.