Kroger CFO J. Michael Schlotman has announced his plan to retire, and the grocery giant has laid out a succession plan to follow.
Schlotman will retire December 2019, following nearly two decades of service as CFO. He will continue as CFO through the end of fiscal 2018 and up to April 3, 2019, after which Gary Millerchip, who heads Kroger Personal Finance, will succeed as SVP and CFO the following day. Schlotman will remain an EVP of the company and continue to participate as part of the senior leadership team to support the company during the transition period until Dec. 28. 2019.
"Consistent with Kroger's governance history of thoughtful succession planning, Gary and Mike have a deliberate and thorough CFO transition plan with a singular focus – a seamless transition to successfully deliver on the Restock Kroger financial commitments and then beyond in the role of Kroger's Chief Financial Officer," said Rodney McMullen, Kroger's chairman and CEO.
Prior to his role as CFO, to which he was elected in January 2000, Schlotman was VP and corporate controller since 1995. He began his career with Coopers & Lybrand accounting firm in Louisville, Ky., transferring to Cincinnati before joining Kroger in 1985.
"Mike is one of retail's most respected executives and has served Kroger for over thirty years," McMullen added. "Mike is also one of the chief architects of Restock Kroger, our plan to create shareholder value by serving America through food inspiration and uplift. He and I have personally worked side by side for several decades. I deeply value Mike's contributions, the credibility he has earned with the financial community, and his leadership as a key member of our most-senior management team."
Millerchip currently is CEO for Kroger Personal Finance, the division that delivers financial and retail services through the Kroger family of brands and stores. He is also responsible for several retail grocery divisions and leads the integration of Kroger's corporate strategic initiatives. Working with the senior management team, Millerchip has played a major role in driving the strategy and partnerships contributing to Kroger's transformation in recent years.
Millerchip joined Kroger in 2010 from the Royal Bank of Scotland to head Kroger Personal Finance, which has delivered double-digit growth year-over-year. Before joining Kroger, he handled the Royal Bank of Scotland's Personal Credit Card business in the United Kingdom. He first joined the Royal Bank of Scotland in 1987 and held multiple leadership positions during his tenure there.
"Gary's deep finance and business background, coupled with a successful track record of creating long-term shareholder value for The Kroger Co., make him an excellent choice for Kroger's Chief Financial Officer of the future," McMullen said.
Both Schlotman and Millerchip have played major roles in transforming Kroger according to the Restock Kroger initiative, and remain committed to delivering on the 2020 Restock Kroger financial targets.
The Kroger Co. operates a seamless digital shopping experience and 2,800 retail food stores under a variety of banner names nationwide. The Cincinnati-based company is No. 2 on Progressive Grocer's 2018 Super 50 list of the top grocers in the United States. It also is Progressive Grocer's 2018 Retailer of the Year.