Paula Ginnett Succeeding Jerry Clontz as Kroger Mid-Atlantic Division President
The president of the Kroger Co. Mid-Atlantic division, Jerry Clontz is retiring after more than 48 years with the company, and will be succeeded on Nov. 1 by Paula Ginnett, currently a VP.
“Jerry has been an outstanding leader and colleague over his nearly five decades with the organization,” said Mike Donnelly, EVP and COO at Cincinnati-based Kroger, of Clontz. “His passion for both people and results has been exemplified throughout his career. We applaud his mentorship and development of associates and teams across our family of companies.”
In 1971, Clontz joined Matthews, N.C.-based Harris Teeter, a wholly owned subsidiary of Kroger since 2014, as a bagger in North Carolina. He then rose through the ranks, holding such retail roles as store manager, store director and field specialist. He became a district manager in 1991, and three years later was promoted to regional director.
In 1997, Clontz was named a regional VP. During his time at Harris Teeter, he aided the chain’s expansion to several markets, among them Washington, D.C.; northern Virginia; southern Maryland; and coastal Delaware. While Clontz was SVP of operations, a role he took on in 2007, Harris Teeter opened 79 new stores. In 2017, he was appointed to his current role.
Speaking of Ginnett, Donnelly noted: “Paula is well respected in the industry for being both a dynamic leader and a top retail strategist. She brings more than 25 years of retail experience to her new role as president of our Mid-Atlantic division. We look forward to her leadership in redefining the grocery customer experience, developing talent and living our purpose.”
Ginnett joined Kroger this past August after more than a quarter-century with Bentonville, Ark.-based Walmart Inc. For the past five years, she was VP, regional general manager for Walmart U.S., based in Phoenix. In that role, Ginnett led 188 stores and 45,000 employees. Before that, she was the mega-retailer's VP, store planning, in which capacity she led Walmart U.S. and Sam’s Club real estate execution for new store openings, remodels and special projects. Ginnett has additionally held several leadership positions in merchandising and operations.
Ginnett isn't the first longtime Walmart executive to jump to Kroger lately: In July, the grocer tapped 30-year Walmart veteran Sonya Hostetler, the company's former VP, regional general manager, based in Dallas, to succeed Zane Day, who was retiring from the position of Cincinnati division president.
The Mid-Atlantic division consists of 110 stores in five states, and employs more than 15,000 associates.
Kroger employs nearly half a million associates who serve 9 million-plux customers daily through a seamless digital shopping experience and 2,769 retail food stores under a variety of banner names. The company is No. 2 on Progressive Grocer’s 2019 Super 50 list of the top grocers in the United States.