Grocery vet Tuffin to lead Kroger retail

Another piece of the leadership puzzle fell into place at Kroger as the company continues to execute a succession strategy backed by the tailwind of 40 consecutive quarter of same store sales growth.

Kroger named Mark Tuffin to the role of SVP of the company’s retail divisions to fill a position previously held by Michael Ellis who was elevated to the role of president and COO last month. Tuffin previously served as president of the company’s Smith’s Food and Drug Stores division.

"Mark is an exceptional leader with an extensive knowledge of the grocery industry,"Ellis said. "He has made significant contributions to our company and industry, while always championing our Customer 1st strategy. We look forward to Mark's leadership in this senior role as we continue to accelerate Kroger's growth."

Tuffin’s appointment is the latest in a series of moves that began in September when Kroger chairman and CEO David Dillon announced plans to step down from the CEO role and remain chairman throughout 2014. At the time, the company named president and COO Rodney McMullen as Dillon’s successor. That created the opportunity to elevate Ellis from his position as SVP of retail divisions to the role of COO vacated by McMullen.

Tuffin, Ellis and McMullen all assume their new responsibilities on Jan. 1 when Dillon steps down as CEO.