CINCINNATI — Kroger Co. here said that Donald E. Becker, executive vice president and a 42-year veteran of the company, died unexpectedly Wednesday after suffering an aneurysm.
"We are deeply saddened to lose Don, our dear friend and extraordinary leader," said David B. Dillon, Kroger's chairman and chief executive officer. "Don leaves a legacy of enthusiasm and passion for doing what's right for our customers and our associates. He touched the lives of countless people in our company as well as throughout our industry and community."
Becker joined Kroger in 1969 as a clerk in the Cincinnati/Dayton Division. During his career, he held a number of leadership positions, including vice president of the Cincinnati/Dayton Division and president of the Central Division. He was promoted to Senior Vice President in 2000 and to Executive Vice President in 2004, overseeing merchandising an procurement, among a range of other resposibilities.
The company noted that Becker was passionate about inclusion and diversity and served as co-chair of Kroger's first General Office Cultural Council.