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Marnette Perry, The Kroger Co.'s SVP of retail operations and strategic initiatives, will retire on April 29 after 44 years with the company.
As one of the Cincinnati-based company's most influential and talented senior executives, Perry has played an integral role in helping to guide Kroger to its standing as the nation's top-ranked food retailer.
"Marnette's story is one we can all be proud of," noted Rodney McMullen, Kroger's chairman and CEO. After beginning her career as a part-time cashier while in college, Perry went on to carve a "remarkable career [which] spanned operations, merchandising and executive leadership. Marnette's significant contributions will leave an indelible mark on Kroger," McMullen continued. "The entire Kroger family thanks Marnette for her years of service and we wish her and her family all the best in retirement."
Named by Progressive Grocer as a Top Woman in Grocery in 2008, Perry joined Kroger in 1972 as a part-time cashier in Portsmouth, Ohio, in the Columbus division, and went on to serve in numerous leadership positions with increasing responsibility. At Kroger's general office, she served as director of produce merchandising and procurement. She was later promoted to president of the Michigan division in 1997, and named president of the Columbus division in 2001.
In 2003, Perry was promoted to group VP of perishables, and in 2004, was named SVP of retail divisions, where she was responsible for eight supermarket operating divisions and more than $40 billion in annual revenue.
Perry assumed her current role, overseeing strategic initiatives and operations for Kroger, as well as the company's value formats, in 2012. She also serves as a member of the board of directors of Kroger Personal Finance and The Kroger Co. Foundation, and is a past board member of the Network of Executive Women (NEW).
Highlights of Perry's most influential accomplishments include her role in helping to establish Kroger's now-ubiquitous natural foods centers and floral departments in the early 1980s. Today, Kroger is a top seller of natural and organic foods and is the world's largest florist. More recently, as VP of operations, Perry championed the teamwork that led to Kroger's innovative QueVision technology, which has dramatically reduced customers' wait time at the checkout.
An active leader in the communities in which she has lived, Perry is a member of the board of directors of Grange Insurance, the Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Richard J. Solove Research Institute Foundation. She has also supported the Nationwide Children's Hospital and United Way in Columbus, Ohio; Ohio University; Central Michigan University; the YWCA; and Detroit Head Start.
Her successor will be named at a later date.