After spending more than 42 years employed under various banners for The Kroger Co., EVP and COO Mike Donnelly is scheduled to retire this spring. A succession plan will be revealed at a later date.
"With his relentless focus on the customer, Mike has led the organization to prioritize what is most important to their experience — full shelves, fresh foods and friendly associates," said Rodney McMullen, Kroger's chairman and CEO. "He energizes our teams to deliver results and the best experience for every customer, every time. Importantly, Mike has mentored and developed countless associates, inspiring them to grow and reach their greatest potential — many of whom are in key leadership roles across the organization. His passion for people and developing world-class teams will be one of his lasting legacies. We wish Mike and his family all the best in retirement."
Donnelly began his career in 1978 as a clerk at Fry's Food Stores in California, where he advanced to several leadership positions, including district management. In 1995, he was named VP of merchandising for Fry's. He was promoted to president of the Fry's division in 2000. He then became Kroger's SVP of drug/GM merchandising before returning to lead the Fry's division as president in 2003. Donnelly was named president of the Ralphs division in 2007, and promoted to SVP of merchandising for Kroger in 2011.
He was later promoted again to EVP in 2015, and to his current role as COO in 2017. As COO, Donnelly was responsibility for operations, merchandising, marketing, supply chain, manufacturing and the Kroger Health division.
Kroger Health made several announcements in February in regard to its COVID-19 testing and vaccination efforts. It revealed plans to offer the first smartphone-enabled at-home Gauss COVID-19 Rapid Antigen Test Kit to patients nationwide, and also unveiled a new online vaccine scheduling tool to efficiently meet the high demand in booking COVID-19 vaccine appointments. Both of these developments followed Kroger's announcement that it would offer a $100 bonus for employees who get vaccinated against COVID-19.
Cincinnati-based Kroger employs nearly half a million associates who serve 9 million-plus customers daily through a seamless digital shopping experience and 2,800 retail food stores under a variety of banner names. The company is No. 3 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2020 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America.