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The Kroger Co. has promoted Mark Tuffin to president of its Smith’s Division, succeeding Jim Hallsey, who announced his retirement, effective at the end of this month, after 47 years of service with Smith’s and Kroger.
Tuffin brings more than 30 years of experience in the grocery industry to his new role. He joined Smith’s in 1996 and has held several key leadership roles before being promoted to VP of merchandising in 1999. In 2009, Tuffin was named VP of transition for Kroger, leading the retailer’s efforts to implement significant organizational changes between all areas of the business.
“Mark possesses remarkable leadership skills and experience in both the Smith’s division and leading Kroger’s transition efforts,” said Rodney McMullen, Kroger president and COO. “Despite the challenges of organizational change, he never lost sight of our core mission to put the customer first.”
Hallsey joined Smith’s in 1964. He served in several management positions, including senior VP of its drug division. In 1995, he was named senior VP and manager of the division’s regional office in Phoenix. He was appointed executive VP of sales and marketing in 1998.
In 2001, Hallsey was promoted to president of the Smith’s Division. Under his leadership, Smith’s significantly improved its customer service, associate engagement and financial results. He also played a critical role in the merger of Fred Meyer and Smith’s operations in 1997.
“Jim is the executive and leader we all strive to be,” McMullen said. “He is respected throughout our company for his commitment to associates and our ‘Customer 1st’ strategy. He is a beloved friend and mentor to many people. Jim is leaving an inspiring legacy at Smith's and Kroger and he will be deeply missed.”
Cincinnati-based Kroger operates 2,449 supermarkets and multidepartment stores in 31 states under two dozen local banner names including Kroger, City Market, Dillons, Jay C, Food 4 Less, Fred Meyer, Fry’s, King Soopers, QFC, Ralphs and Smith’s.