After more than 42 years at The Kroger Co., Chief Operating Officer Mike Donnelly plans to retire this spring.
Kroger said late yesterday that it will announce a successor to Donnelly, who also holds the title of executive vice president, at a later date. He has served as COO of the Cincinnati-based supermarket giant since December 2017, overseeing operations, merchandising, marketing, supply chain, manufacturing and and the Kroger Health health services arm.
“With his relentless focus on the customer, Mike has led the organization to prioritize what is most important to their experience: full shelves, fresh foods and friendly associates,” Kroger Chairman and CEO Rodney McMullen, Kroger's chairman and CEO. “He energizes our teams to deliver results and the best experience for every customer, every time. Importantly, Mike has mentored and developed countless associates, inspiring them to grow and reach their greatest potential — many of whom are in key leadership roles across the organization.”
Before being promoted to COO, Donnelly (left) served as executive vice president of merchandising from September 2015 to December 2017 and as senior vice president of merchandising from July 2011 to September 2015.
Donnelly started his grocery industry career as a clerk at Fry’s Food Stores in California in 1978, where he rose to several leadership positions, including district management. In 1995, he was appointed vice president of merchandising for Fry’s and later, in 2000, promoted to president of the Fry's division. After that, he served as Kroger’s senior vice president of drug and general merchandise merchandising before returning to lead the Fry’s division as president in 2003. Donnelly was named president of the Ralphs division in 2007 and promoted to senior vice president of merchandising for Kroger in 2011.
“His passion for people and developing world class teams will be one of his lasting legacies,” McMullen added. “We wish Mike and his family all the best in retirement.”
Overall, The Kroger Co. operates approximately 2,800 supermarkets and multi-department stores in 35 states under such banners as Kroger, Ralphs, Dillons, Smith’s, King Soopers, Fry’s, QFC, City Market, Owen’s, Jay C, Pay Less, Baker’s, Gerbes, Harris Teeter, Pick ‘n Save, Metro Market, Mariano’s, Fred Meyer, Food 4 Less and Foods Co.