The Kroger Co. has announced the retirement of Sukanya Madlinger, SVP of retail divisions, effective June 19. She will be succeeded by Calvin Kaufman, current president of Kroger’s Louisville divisions.
Madlinger, who is retiring after 31 years of service at Kroger, joined the company in 1986 as a store management trainee in the Cincinnati/Dayton division, and has held a variety of leadership roles in stores and merchandising since that time. In 2003, she became VP of drug/general merchandise/pharmacy merchandising and procurement for Kroger’s corporate office. She returned to the Cincinnati/Dayton division in 2008 as VP of merchandising, and then moved into her current role in 2015.
"Throughout her accomplished career, Sukanya has exemplified true leadership," said Rodney McMullen, Kroger's chairman and CEO. "Sukanya's focus on developing future talent and fostering strong partnerships helped build a deep bench of leaders to sustain Kroger's future growth. The entire Kroger family wishes her and her family the best in retirement."
Kaufman, who is relocating with his family to the Cincinnati area for his new role, joined Kroger in 1994 in the Fred Meyer Logistics group in Portland, Ore. He served the division in several different logistics roles, including group VP, and went on to hold several leadership roles with Kroger’s logistics team before becoming president of Kroger Manufacturing and Corporate Brands in 2008. He moved into his current role in 2013.
Previously, Kaufman represented Kroger on the boards of the International Dairy Foods Association, the American Bakers Association and the Kentucky Retail Federation.
"Calvin is an unwavering advocate for improving the customer and associate experience in ways that will accelerate growth and create shareholder value," McMullen said. "His passion for strengthening our corporate culture and clarifying our company purpose makes him a natural fit for our leadership team."
Kaufman’s current position will be filled by Ann Reed, currently VP, Customer 1st Promise, who is relocating to the Cincinnati area with her family. She began her career with Kroger as co-manager of its Central division in 1993, serving in a number of leadership positions in divisions and at Kroger’s general office, including store manager, category manager, deli/bakery merchandiser, director of deli/bakery and director of fresh ready meals. Reed became VP of merchandising at Fry’s in 2010, followed by VP of merchandising at Fred Meyer in 2013. She entered her current role in 2015.
Kroger employs 443,000 associates in 2,796 retail food stores under a variety of local banners in 35 states and Washington, D.C.