- Kroger announced on Tuesday that Kenny Kimball, president of its Smith’s division, will become senior vice president beginning in April.
- Kimball will succeed Mark Tuffin, who has held the role since 2014 and is retiring on April 1.
- Kimball will oversee several retail divisions across the company and, in the interim, will also continue to oversee the Smith's division.
In replacing Tuffin, Kroger is turning to an executive who followed a similar career path through the grocer’s Smith’s division.
Kimball began working at Smith’s as a courtesy clerk in 1984 and made his way through numerous leadership positions, including district manager and bakery director. He became group vice president of retail operations and shortly after was named senior vice president of sales and merchandising in 2009.
Kimball became vice president of merchandising for Kroger’s Ralphs division in 2012 and then vice president of operations for that division in 2013. He returned to Smith’s in 2016 as vice president of operations and became president of the division later that year.
Tuffin started his grocery career with Smitty’s in Arizona and joined Smith's in 1996, where he became vice president of merchandising in 1999. In 2009, he helped lead a reorganization of Kroger’s then 18 retail divisions as vice president of transition for the company. He returned to Smith’s in 2011 as head of the division and became senior vice president of retail divisions for Kroger three years later.
Kroger named another SVP of retail divisions last July when it appointed Valerie Jabbar, formerly the chain’s group vice president of center store merchandising, to the role. She replaced Steve McKinney, who retired after working for the company for more than 40 years.