Kroger on Thursday announced that influential executive Lynn Marmer, group VP for corporate affairs, plans to retire in early 2016 after 18 years with the company.
"Lynn has always appreciated the power of our industry to connect with people's everyday lives," Rodney McMullen, Kroger's chairman and CEO, said in a statement. "Her leadership has helped advance Kroger as a leader in community engagement — especially through our partnership with local food banks — and in sustainability, customer relations, and always connecting our external relations efforts to our Customer 1st business strategy.
"Lynn has been a trusted counselor and advisor to three CEOs during a period of significant change in food retail. We wish her and her family all the best in retirement."
Marmer joined Kroger in 1997 as a senior attorney in the legal department. When appointed to her current position in 1998, she became Kroger's first female corporate officer.
Marmer focuses on reputation management and leveraging and protecting Kroger's brand. She leads external communications and brand public relations; media; government and regulatory affairs; corporate social responsibility and environmental sustainability; community relations and customer service centers; crisis management; cause-marketing and corporate philanthropy. She also serves as president of the Kroger Foundation.
She is responsible for growing Kroger's supplier diversity program to $1 billion annually, creating a national program of fresh food rescue that donates 200 million meals annually to food banks across the U.S., and creating four award-winning cause marketing campaigns that contribute millions of dollars to Kroger's signature community programs. In 2011, Forbes magazine named Kroger the most generous company in America.
In addition to her industry leadership, Marmer has been involved in nonprofit boards and civic problem-solving groups. She currently is a member of the boards of the Cincinnati Zoo, Interact for Health, CRBC (Cincinnati Regional Business Committee), the Cincinnati Business Committee Education Task Force, Leadership Scholars, Carpe Diem (charter school), the Finance Committee of the Center City Development Corporation (3CDC), and is chair of the Port Authority of Greater Cincinnati.
Kroger said it would name a successor for Marmer at a later date.
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