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Kroger Heralds Digital Officer Succession Plan

The Kroger Co. has named Yael Cosset as its next chief digital officer, to succeed Kevin Dougherty, who will retire at the end of January.

Cosset, 43, chief commercial officer and chief information officer of Kroger insights arm 84.51°, will succeed Dougherty effective upon his retirement Jan. 27.

Dougherty, 63, group VP and chief digital officer for the Cincinnati-based grocery giant, is stepping down after 15 years of service.

An Integral Partner

Dougherty joined Kroger in 2001 as VP of supply chain operations. He was promoted to group VP of logistics in 2004, before being named group VP and chief supply chain officer in 2010. Under his leadership, Kroger made considerable progress on its associate safety initiatives.

In 2012, Dougherty was promoted to group VP of digital and Vitacost, where he has overseen Kroger's development of ClickList, an order online and pick up at the store service, which has grown to more than 550 locations including Harris Teeter's ExpressLane service. He was named group VP and chief digital officer in 2015.

"Kevin has been an integral partner in leading both our logistics operation and, over the last several years, leading Kroger's strategic entry into the digital space," said Rodney McMullen, Kroger's chairman and CEO. "He has led Kroger's e-commerce and digital customer strategy during a period of tremendous growth and change, driving innovation and reshaping our customers' digital experience. Kevin is a proven leader and passionate advocate for our associates and our customers. We wish him, his wife Barbara, and their family all the best in retirement."

Advocate of Customer Science

Cosset joined Dunnhumby in 2009 as executive VP of consumer markets. He was named global chief information officer in 2011 and led technology and product matters. He also served as CEO of KSS Retail, a Dunnhumby company and global enterprise software provider of price modeling and optimization solutions for retailers worldwide.

In both roles, Cosset collaborated closely with executives at Kroger as well as Tesco, Macy's and Raley's, among others, to deliver innovative customer insight and personalization platforms. He was named to his current role at 84.51° in 2015.

"Yael is a passionate advocate for using customer science to make a difference in the lives of our customers. His deep experience in applying technology and innovation in retail make him a perfect fit for this important role," McMullen said. "Yael is a thoughtful and collaborative leader who will empower his team to create innovative solutions that deliver a differentiating and meaningful, personalized experience to our customers."

Kroger operates 2,796 retail food stores under a variety of local banner names in 35 states and the District of Columbia.


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