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Kroger said Kenny Kimball will take over as senior VP of retail divisions when Mark Tuffin retires in April.

Kroger names Kenny Kimball as retail divisions senior VP

Smith’s and corporate retail veteran Mark Tuffin to retire after 26 years

Kenny Kimball has been appointed senior vice president of retail divisions at The Kroger Co., succeeding Mark Tuffin, who is retiring.

A 26-year company veteran, Tuffin is slated to retire on April 1, at which time Kimball — currently president of the Smith’s division — will formally move into the retail divisions senior vice president role, Cincinnati-based Kroger said late yesterday.

In his new post, Kimball will oversee several retail divisions across the Kroger Co. and, in the interim, also have responsibility for Smith’s until the company names a new president for that division.


Kimball (left) joined the organization in 1984 as a courtesy clerk in the Smith’s division and in the ensuing years served in a range of leadership roles, including store manager, district manager and bakery director. He was promoted to group vice president of retail operations before being named senior vice president of sales and merchandising in 2009. In 2012, Kimball moved to the Ralphs division to serve as vice president of merchandising. Then in 2013, he was appointed vice president of operations for Ralphs. Later, in 2015, Kimball took on a special assignment for the company before returning to Smith’s as vice president of operations in 2016. He was promoted to president of the division later that year.

“Kenny is truly an inspirational leader that effectively balances a passion for people and a passion for results with tremendous experience across our organization, ranging from courtesy clerk to division president,” Kroger Chairman and CEO Rodney McMullen said in a statement. “He is driven, passionate and respected for his ability to see the big picture while also putting his associates and customers first. We’re excited to bring his perspective and experience to our senior leadership team.”


Tuffin (left) started his grocery industry career at Smitty’s Supermarkets in Arizona, where he held various positions before coming to Smith’s via the chains’ merger in 1996. At Smith’s, Tuffin served in a series of leadership posts and became vice president of merchandising in 1999. He was promoted to vice president of transition in 2009, leading an organizational restructuring of the Kroger’s then 18 retail divisions (currently 21 divisions). Tuffin came back to Smith’s in 2011 to serve as president before taking on his current role as senior vice president of retail divisions in 2014.

“Mark is a tremendous leader whose passion for our customers and our people will leave a lasting legacy across the many divisions he has led,” McMullen stated. “We thank Mark for his dedication throughout the years and wish him all the best in retirement.”

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