New Leader Takes Helm at DunnhumbyUSA

Simon Hay, the chief executive who helped DunnhumbyUSA dramatically expand its presence and portfolio, has stepped down to assume broader responsibilities with the company’s London-based operations. Former Safeway executive Stuart Aitken has been named as the company’s new COO while former Procter and Gamble executive Gary Cofer has been named new global EVP/manufacturer practice leader.

Under Hay’s watch, DunnhumbyUSA -- a joint venture between the London-based firm and Kroger Co. -- grew to a $200 million company in just five years and has expanded its geographic reach to Chicago, Atlanta and New York City to serve new clients such as Home Depot, Coca Cola, General Mills and Macy's.

A linchpin in Kroger’s customer-focused strategy and increased focus on global consumer packaged goods business, Hay presided over DunnhumbyUSA’s growth from $0 to $200 million in five years, with 2009 projected revenue of $250 million. Since establishing its US office in 2003 with only a handful of employees, the company has also relocated to a new 150,000-square-foot headquarters – nearly triple the space of its previous headquarters, at 444 W. 3rd St., in downtown Cincinnati.

“I am proud to have led the first six years at DunnhumbyUSA and our partnership with The Kroger Co.,” said Hay. “Our passion to put the customer first has helped our partner, our clients and ourselves grow our business. I am confident that Stuart will provide the inspiring leadership that DunnhumbyUSA and our amazingly talented people need to continue our growth and success.”

Noting that “CPG clients are facing seismic shifts in the way they communicate with consumers and the data they collect,” Hay further noted Dunnhumby’s efforts that have helped “Kroger emphasize what matters most to customers - good prices, the shopping experience, the right products and people.”

Joining DunnhumbyUSA in late August, Aitken, brings a breadth and depth of marketing experience, particularly with loyalty programs, to DunnhumbyUSA and Kroger’s customer-focused strategy. He previously served as CMO of the arts and crafts retail chain Michael’s Stores Inc., as well as in various executive marketing positions with Safeway, Inc.

Cofer, meanwhile, brings over two decades of sales and general management experience with P&G in North America, India and Asia, most recently as VP of customer business development for North America, whose division included 5,000 employees and generated over $30 billion in annual sales. His role at DunnhumbyUSA will include the development of a global strategy for DunnhumbyUSA’s manufacturer clients, which spans more than 15 countries and 600 clients.

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