Kroger Delta Division President Scot Hendricks to Retire
The Kroger Co. has announced the retirement of Delta Division President Scot Hendricks and the promotion of Victor Smith, current VP of merchandising for the Ralphs division, to succeed him.
Hendricks will retire from the company, effective Feb. 2, 2019, after 38 years of service – the last three leading Kroger's Delta division with 15,800 associates, serving customers in 101 stores across West Tennessee and parts of Mississippi, Arkansas, Kentucky and Missouri.
"Scot's genuine love and passion for the retail business and for his Delta family is illustrated in his interactions with everyone he meets," said Mike Donnelly, the Cincinnati-based grocer's EVP and COO. "His passion for people has made him a tremendous mentor, and he will leave a legacy of driven, hard-working teams who care about each other and the customers and communities they serve."
Hendricks began his career with Kroger in the Nashville division management training program in 1981. After two years, he was promoted to a grocery buyer.
From 1986 to 2000, he served in several leadership roles in the Atlanta division. In 2000, he was promoted to Kroger's corporate office in Cincinnati, where he served in different roles of increasing responsibility including vice president of grocery merchandising and procurement.
In 2011, he was promoted to vice president of merchandising for the Cincinnati/Dayton division, where he served until he was appointed to vice president of operations in 2014. In October 2015, he entered his current role.
Smith will succeed Hendricks Feb. 3, 2019, working closely with him to ensure a successful transition. His replacement will be named at a later date.
"Victor has been a valuable leader for this company, no matter his role, since he started with us 35 years ago," continued Mr. Donnelly. "He brings a level of operational excellence that will only strengthen the work Scot has done in the Delta division, and will help us continue to deliver on Restock Kroger, our plan to create shareholder value by serving America through food inspiration and uplift."
Smith joined Kroger in 1983 as a courtesy clerk in the Ralphs division. He advanced to other roles within the division including store manager, operations research analyst, shrink manager, operations coordinator, district manager and meat merchandiser.
In 2015, he was promoted to VP of operations in the Houston division, before returning to Ralphs in his current role in 2016, where he leads merchandising, both sales and marketing, for all 191 Ralphs locations throughout Southern California.
The news follows a report earlier this week that Kroger CFO J. Michael Schlotman will retire December 2019, following nearly two decades of service as CFO. Replacing him will be Gary Millerchip, who currently heads Kroger Personal Finance.
Kroger also announced earlier this week that it plans to divest its digital coupon and rebate publishing unit to analytics firm Inmar, as well as officially launch grocery delivery via autonomous vehicles in Scottsdale, Ariz., where the grocer began piloting the technology.
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.