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Kelley takes over as Kroger Houston division president

Promotion part of leadership moves supporting Restock Kroger

Joe Kelley has been promoted to president of the Houston division at The Kroger Co.

Kroger said yesterday that Kelley, previously vice president on special assignment, started in the new role earlier this month. He succeeds Marlene Stewart, who is slated to retire on July 20 after 42 years of service at the company.

“I am deeply honored to have been selected as the Kroger Houston division president and look forward to creating higher levels of engagement and collaboration with an already strong team at Kroger,” Kelley said in a statement. “Today’s consumer landscape creates tremendous opportunities for Kroger to further expand and deepen relationships with our customers through superior customer service that exceeds expectations.”

Joe_Kelley_Kroger_Houston_president.pngKelley (left), who joined Kroger earlier this year, has nearly two decades of retail grocery industry experience, spanning sales, marketing, merchandising, category management, supply chain and operations and regional, national and international levels. 

In the special assignment vice president role at Kroger, he focused on the Cincinnati-based retailer’s efforts to improve the customer experience. Before coming to Kroger, he was principal of Kelley Business Advisors LLC, a business consultancy for grocery retailers. That followed posts as a vice president at Albertsons Cos.’ Shaw’s and Star Market banners, New England president for Stop & Shop, chairman and CEO of Marsh Supermarkets, and executive vice president at Price Chopper Supermarkets and Bozzuto’s.

Kelley’s promotion stems from a flurry of executive appointments made last month by Kroger, which included new presidents for the Fred Meyer, King Soopers, Columbus and Dallas divisions. The moves were made to help support Restock Kroger, the retailer’s long-term plan to redefine the food and customer experience via digital and technology, expanded partnerships, talent development and social impact.

“We are making progress on redefining the customer experience, and our high-performing leaders are determined to maintain that momentum in year two of Restock Kroger and beyond,” stated Mike Donnelly, executive vice president and chief operating officer for Kroger. “Kelley’s promotion will help ensure we continue driving toward our growth objectives.”

Kroger’s Houston division has nearly 17,000 employees and encompasses 110 retail food stores, 106 pharmacies and 81 fuel centers in greater Houston, southeastern Texas and southwestern Louisiana.

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