Changing of the guard at Kroger

Kroger CEO David B. Dillon, a 37-year Kroger veteran, will retire Jan. 1, 2014, and will continue to serve as chairman of the board through Dec. 31, 2014. Succeeding him will be W. Rodney McMullen, Kroger's president and COO.

McMullen joined Kroger in 1978 on a part-time basis on a stock crew and has been president and COO since 2009 and a director since 2003. He previously held a variety of senior management positions including vice chairman; EVP of strategy, planning, and finance; and CFO.

"As Kroger implements its strategic growth initiatives, the time is right for the transition of leadership. I am delighted that the board has elected Rodney McMullen to succeed me,” said Dillon. “Rodney has played a leadership role in every major decision Kroger has made for the past 25 years, including the development and implementation of Kroger's Customer 1st approach as well as our current growth strategy. He is ready to be CEO. I have been honored to lead this great company for more than 10 years [since 2003] and look forward to assisting Rodney and the board in the transition while continuing to serve as chairman." 

"On behalf of the board, I thank Dave Dillon for an extraordinary job as CEO and throughout his distinguished career at Kroger,” said Robert D. Beyer, Kroger's lead director. “Under his leadership, the company has consistently delivered value for shareholders, customers, and associates. The board has planned carefully for this leadership succession. We are confident Kroger will continue its growth momentum during the transition and under Rodney McMullen's leadership. Rodney has the right skills and experience to build on Dave's accomplishments and leverage Kroger's strong platform in the years ahead."

"I am honored to have this unique opportunity to serve our company and gratified by the board's confidence in me,” added McMullen. “I am excited to lead our efforts to build on Kroger's market position and competitive advantages to drive value for our shareholders and to strengthen our deep connection with our great associates, our millions of customers and the communities we call home."

McMullen's successor will be named at a later date.