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Former Kroger, PCC Exec Joins Focal Systems

Suzy Monford will serve as chief strategy and marketplace officer for automation company
Emily Crowe, Progressive Grocer
Focal Systems
Suzy Monford

Following a brief stint as president and CEO of PCC Community Markets, Suzy Monford will take over as chief strategy and marketplace officer at retail automation provider Focal Systems. Monford will be tasked with helping the company integrate its state-of-the-art artificial intelligence (AI) with optimal operations and processes and will lead its Austin, Texas, office. 

“Since 2015 our team has worked with Suzy as a customer, advisor and friend to guide our product roadmap and strategy. Her advice has gotten us to where we are today. She is the smartest person in retail we have had the pleasure of working with. We are thrilled she has elected to join us at this pivotal moment in our company’s growth,” said Francois Chaubard, Focal Systems founder and CEO. “Her leadership experience as a retailer who’s led e-commerce and technology innovations in the U.S., U. K., and Australia are hugely valuable to us and our customers as we grow around the world.”  

Monford said joining Focal Systems will give her an opportunity to help the food retail industry evolve. 

“Throughout my career as an operator, marketer and customer experience innovator, I’ve been fortunate to work with best-in-class leaders, so I’m thrilled to join Francois and the Focal team at this moment in our industry’s evolution,” Monford said. “The need to reimagine and rebuild the world’s food economy has never been more vital—to the stores and communities we serve, and more broadly, to the environment.” 

Monford left her position as president and CEO of PCC Community Markets last August, saying at the time that she was looking to pursue other career opportunities. 

“Being part of PCC has been a very rewarding experience, and I am fortunate to have been part of the co-op community,” Monford said. 

Monford joined PCC in December 2020 after three years with The Kroger Co., most recently as group VP of e-commerce. Before that, she was president of Kroger’s Quality Food Centers from 2017 to 2019, operating the division of 65 stores in Washington and Oregon. Prior to Kroger, Monford was CEO of Andronico’s Community Markets (later acquired by Albertsons banner Safeway) in the San Francisco Bay Area and amassed international experience in leadership roles with Australia’s Woolworths and Coles Supermarkets. She began her supermarket career with a decade of leadership roles at San Antonio-based H-E-B. 

With a mission to automate and optimize brick-and-mortar retail with deep learning and AI, Focal Systems was founded in 2015 and pioneered the world’s first “Self-Driving Store,” which is powered by an operating system that revolutionizes how stores are run.

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