Cincinnati — Katie Wolfram, president of the Central division of The Kroger Co., will retire on November 4, 2017 after 38 years of service. Pam Matthews, currently the QFC division president, has been promoted to succeed her. Suzy Monford will join the company to serve as president of the QFC division.
"We are grateful for Katie's nearly 40 years of dedicated service to our associates and customers, and we are excited to have Pam and Suzy take on these indispensable leadership roles in our company," says Rodney McMullen, Kroger's chairman and CEO. "Both leaders bring successful and distinguished retail experience to the roles and will help with the execution of the Restock Kroger Plan that will bring valuable changes to our customers, associates, communities and shareholders."
McMullen continues: "Katie has accomplished much in her career with Kroger and has always been passionate about creating an inclusive and diverse work culture. She has been a valued leadership partner across the company and Central division. We truly appreciate the many contributions Katie has made to Kroger, and we wish her and her family the best in retirement."
Wolfram was named to her current role in 2016 and has been spearheading an aggressive growth strategy in the Central division since joining the region as the vice president of merchandising in 2014. In the last 2 years, the company has invested nearly $329 million in the central Indiana market, adding five new Marketplace stores and 12 new gas stations, remodeling and/or expanding 14 existing stores, building a regional training center and adding more than 1,400 new jobs to the region. The Central division operates 138 stores with more than 19,500 associates.
Wolfram began her career with Kroger in 1979 as an assistant store manager in the Cincinnati-Dayton division. She went on to serve in several leadership positions at Kroger's corporate office in Cincinnati and with Kroger's Manufacturing division. In 2005, she moved to Denver to join the King Soopers division as vice president of merchandising, before joining the Central division in 2014 to serve in the same role.
Matthews, currently president of the QFC division, will succeed Wolfram as president of Kroger's Central division, effective October 23, 2017. Matthews started with the company in 1980 in the Fred Meyer division. She has held a variety of leadership roles in her 25-year career with Fred Meyer, including store management, training, corporate brand development, and merchandising for deli-bakery, drug-general merchandise and grocery. Matthews also served as director of deli-bakery merchandising and director of floral merchandising and procurement at Kroger's corporate office in Cincinnati before being promoted to vice president of merchandising for the Central division in 2006. She moved to the Delta division as vice president of merchandising in 2014 and was named vice president of operations in 2015. She was named president of the QFC division in 2016.
Monford joins the company to succeed Matthews as president of QFC, effective October 23, 2017. Monford is the former CEO of Andronico's Community Markets, a Bay Area chain acquired by Albertsons in early 2017. Prior to Andronico's, Monford was the head of innovation for Woolworths Supermarkets in Australia, after spending 10 years as an executive for H-E-B Central Market and H-E-B Grocery Company in Texas. She will be based at the division office in Seattle and oversee QFC's 65 stores in Washington and Oregon.
The Kroger Co. has 2,793 retail food stores under a variety of local banner names in 35 states and the District of Columbia. For more information, visit http://www.kroger.com.
SOURCE: The Kroger Co.