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Jay Cummins, president of The Kroger Co.'s Salt Lake City Smith's division, will retire on April 29 after 44 years with the company. His replacement will be announced at a later date.
"Jay has always led with enthusiasm and passion for our people and teams. It shows in the great pride he takes in the accomplishments of associates, especially when they go above and beyond for our customers," said Rodney McMullen, Kroger's chairman and CEO. "We are thankful for Jay's service to Smith's and Kroger, and to our local communities where he has always demonstrated a personal commitment to making a difference for others. We wish Jay, his wife, Terrie, and their family all the best in retirement."
Under his leadership tenure at Smith's, which has 139 stores throughout seven western states and employs 17,000, Smith's has received several awards recognizing the company's philanthropic efforts, including outstanding corporation/foundation by the Association of Fundraising Professionals Las Vegas Chapter in 2015.
Cummins began his Kroger career as a clerk in 1972 in Huntington Beach, Calif. In the following years, he served in positions of increasing responsibility in store and district management and in grocery merchandising for the company's Food 4 Less division.
A board member of the Western Association of Food Chains, Cummins in 2002 was named VP/GM of the Food 4 Less Midwest division, where he led the expansion of the price impact warehouse store format in the Chicago area. In 2004, he was named president of the Food 4 Less division, which operates stores in California, Illinois and Indiana.
Prior to assuming his current role in 2014, Cummins served as president of the Mid-Atlantic division since 2007.