- Kroger announced on Monday that it has named Elaine Chao, who most recently served as U.S. Secretary of Transportation under former President Donald Trump, to its board of directors.
- Chao was also labor secretary under former President George W. Bush’s administration and has served on the boards of several Fortune 500 companies.
- Chao has been elected to the board until Kroger’s annual shareholder meeting next June, at which point she will stand for election by shareholders.
In a statement, Kroger Chairman and CEO Rodney McMullen said Chao brings deep experience across private and public sectors to her new role.
"She's an experienced national and global leader who brings to Kroger's board deep knowledge of corporate governance, strategic and workforce management, and public-private partnerships as well as extensive experience at the highest levels of U.S. government."
Chao is the first Asian American woman to fill a U.S. Cabinet position and is the longest-serving U.S Cabinet secretary since World War II, according to Monday’s release. In addition to her roles in government, Chao has served on the boards of News Corp, Wells Fargo, Vulcan Materials and Dole Food. She was also CEO of United Way from 1992 to 1996, according to her LinkedIn profile, and director of the Peace Corps for a year before that.
She received her Master of Business Administration degree from Harvard Business School and her undergraduate degree in economics from Mount Holyoke College, along with 37 honorary doctorate degrees across her career.
Chao is married to Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.
Her arrival to Kroger's board follows the appointments of Kevin Brown, a senior supply chain executive for Dell Technologies, and Amanda Sourry, the former president of North America for Unilever, earlier this year. The company has also recently named two new division presidents and a new senior vice president of retail divisions.