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Bill Breetz, president of Kroger’s Houston Division, will retire next month, to be succeeded by Marlene Stewart, president of the grocery giant’s Dillons Division.
Colleen Juergensen, currently VP of merchandising of Kroger’s Smith’s Division in Utah, will succeed Stewart at the helm of Kansas-based Dillons.
Kroger also promoted Pam Matthews to president of its QFC Division in Seattle. Currently VP of operations for Kroger’s Memphis-based Delta Division. Matthews will succeeds Dennis Gibson, who was recently named president of the King Soopers/City Market Division in Colorado.
“Kroger has an exceptionally strong team of leaders who are fueling our growth and improving our connection with customers,” said Rodney McMullen, Kroger’s chairman and CEO. “Marlene, Colleen and Pam bring unmatched depth and experience to their new roles. They will help Kroger continue to make a difference for our customers, associates and communities, and by doing so create value for our shareholders.”
Breetz: 44 Years of Service
Breetz plans to retire Aug. 26 after 44 years of service. He began his Kroger career in 1972 as a bagger in Louisville, Ky. After earning a degree at the University of Louisville in 1977, he joined the management training program and was named a co-manager in Cincinnati.
“Bill’s extraordinary career demonstrates a passion for people and a passion for results. He leads by caring deeply about associates and developing future leaders,” McMullen said. “Bill’s leadership has contributed to Kroger’s success and growth. The entire Kroger family thanks Bill for his many contributions over the years and wishes he and his family all the best in retirement.”
In 2000, Breetz was promoted to EVP of Kroger’s Southwest Division with responsibility for operations in Dallas. In 2001, he assumed responsibility for operations in Houston as well. He was named president of the Southwest Division in 2002, and president of the Houston Division in 2015.
Stewart: 4 Decades with Kroger
Stewart started her career with Kroger in 1977 as a bagger in the company's Cincinnati Division, where she worked full-time while attending the University of Cincinnati. She went on to serve in many leadership roles in Cincinnati, including store and district management, training and merchandising. In 2005, Stewart was named director of operations for Kroger's Mid-Atlantic division before being named VP of operations in 2007. She was named vice president of merchandising in the company’s QFC division in 2011. She was named to her current role in 2015.
Juergensen: Utah to Kansas
Juergensen began her Kroger career with the Dillons Division in 1981. She served in various leadership roles of increasing responsibility including store manager, zone manager and director of advertising. In 2008, Juergensen was promoted to Dillons VP of operations. She was named VP of operations of Smith’s in 2012, and to her current role in 2015.
Matthews: Northwest to Mid-South and Back
Matthews began her career with the company’s Fred Meyer division, based in Portland, Ore., in 1980.
Throughout her 25-year career with Fred Meyer, she held a variety of leadership roles in store management, corporate brand development and merchandising. Matthews also served as director of deli/bakery merchandising and director of floral merchandising and procurement at Kroger’s general offices in Cincinnati before being promoted to VP of merchandising for the Central Division in 2006. She was named VP of merchandising for the Delta Division in 2014 and to her current role in 2015.
Cincinnati-based Kroger operates 2,778 retail food stores under a variety of local banner names in 35 states and the District of Columbia.