Katie Wolfram Retires as Kroger's Central Div. Prez

Katie Wolfram, a 38-year industry veteran, will retire from her position as Kroger’s Central division president effective Nov. 4, according to the Cincinnati-based retailer.

Pam Matthews, currently QFC division president, has been selected to succeed her. Suzy Monford will join the company 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," said 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 lauded Wolfram's passion for “creating an inclusive and diverse work culture," adding, “she has been a valued leadership partner across the company and Central division."

Wolfram took on her current role in 2016 and has been spearheading an aggressive growth strategy in the Central division since joining the region as VP of merchandising in 2014. In the past two 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 VP of merchandising, before joining the Central division in 2014 in the same role.

She was a leader for the first Cultural Council, a team development and culture-building group, and she started the Reach Higher initiative in Kroger Manufacturing. Additionally, Wolfram represented Kroger as a leader in the Network of Executive Women in Denver.

Matthews, who started with the company in 1980 in the Fred Meyer division, will take over as president of Kroger's Central division effective Oct. 23.

Monford is the former CEO of Andronico's Community Markets, a Bay Area chain acquired by Albertsons in early 2017. Prior to Andronico's, she 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 Co. in Texas.

Wolfram, Matthews and Montford have each been named a Top Woman in Grocery by Progressive Grocer.