Kroger will be bidding farewell to one of its own next month, as Senior Vice President of Retail Divisions Sukanya Madlinger plans to retire effective June 19. Along with her retirement, Kroger will promote Calvin Kaufman as her succession, and Ann Reed to succeed him as President of Kroger's Louisville division.
Madlinger, who has given 31 years of service to the company, joined Kroger in 1986 as a store management trainee in the Cincinnati/Dayton division. Holding a variety of leadership positions in stores and merchandising throughout her tenure, and in 2003, she was named Vice President of Drug/General Merchandise/Pharmacy Merchandising and Procurement for Kroger's corporate office in Cincinnati. Madlinger returned to the Cincinnati/Dayton division in 2008 as Vice President of Merchandising, and was quickly promoted to lead the division as president in 2010. Once again moving upward, she was promoted to her current role as Senior Vice President of Retail Stores in 2015.
"Throughout her accomplished career, Sukanya has exemplified true leadership," said Rodney McMullen, Chairman and CEO. "Sukanya's focus on developing future talent and fostering strong partnerships helped build a deep bench of leaders to sustain Kroger's future growth. The entire Kroger family wishes her and her family the best in retirement."
In her place, Kroger has promoted Kaufman as the new Senior Vice President of Retail Stores. Kaufman joined Kroger in 1994 in the Fred Meyer Logistics group in Portland, Oregon. Serving in various other logistics roles at Fred Meyer for several years, Kaufman went on to do the same with the Kroger logistics team, prior to being named President of Kroger Manufacturing and Corporate Brands in 2008. He was named to his current role as President of the Louisville Division in 2013.
According to a press release, Kaufman had previously represented Kroger on the boards of the International Dairy Foods Association, American Baker's Association, and the Kentucky Retail Federation.
"Calvin is an unwavering advocate for improving the customer and associate experience in ways that will accelerate growth and create shareholder value," said McMullen. "His passion for strengthening our corporate culture and clarifying our company purpose makes him a natural fit for our leadership team."
Now assuming the role of Kroger’s President of the Louisville division is Ann Reed, who has worked with the company since 1993. She was named to her current position in 2015.
"Ann has shown tremendous leadership in driving our Customer 1st Promise and company purpose into our business strategy," added McMullen. "Ann brings to our Louisville division team her dedication to and deep understanding of our customers, associates, and communities."
Here’s to Madlinger on her next journey, and to much more from Kroger in the future.