Kroger Names Pete Williams SVP; Reshuffles Divisional Exec Deck

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Kroger Names Pete Williams SVP; Reshuffles Divisional Exec Deck

CINCINNATI - The Kroger Co. here said yesterday it has tapped grocery veteran Pete Williams to join its s.v.p. ranks, and has shuffled a handful of other executives in top divisional positions.

Williams is a 29-year Kroger veteran who has held several leadership positions in the company, including his most recent role as president of the Mid-Atlantic division. He will become a corporate s.v.p. effective August 19.

During his career with Kroger, Williams, 52, has also served as director of labor relations, and v.p./operations and human resources for Kroger's Atlanta division. He joined Kroger in 1977 as a management trainee in Memphis, Tenn.

The company named Jay Cummins to replace Williams as president of the 129-store Mid-Atlantic division, which operates supermarkets in North Carolina, West Virginia, Virginia, and parts of Kentucky, Ohio, and Tennessee. Cummins, 55, currently is president of the company's Food 4 Less division, with 146 price-impact warehouse-format stores in California, Nevada, Illinois, and Indiana. Cummins began his career with Alpha Beta in 1972.

Dave Hirz, a 36-year industry veteran and current president of Kroger's Ralphs Food Stores division, will get the helm of Food 4 Less, as Cummins' replacement. Prior to joining Ralphs in 2004, Hirz, 52, led Food 4 Less.

Mike Donnelly, 48, who has been president of Kroger's Phoenix-based Fry's division since 2003, will replace Hirz as president of Ralphs. Donnelly began his career with Fry's in 1978, became president of the division in 2000, and has also been Kroger's s.v.p., drug/general manager, merchandising, and procurement.

Kroger operates 2,458 supermarkets and multi-department stores in 31 states under two dozen local banners.