- Kroger’s 84.51° data-analytics unit has named Milen Mahadevan as president, according to a press release, Mahadevan has been serving as chief operating officer of the subsidiary.
- Mahadevan replaces former 84.51° CEO Stuart Aiken, who was elevated by Kroger earlier in July to the position of chief merchant and marketing officer of the grocery chain.
- Like Aitken, Mahadevan is a veteran of 84.51° predecessor dunnhumbyUSA, a former joint venture between Kroger and dunnhumby, a London-based company that analyzes customer behavior on behalf of grocers, consumer packaged goods companies and other retail clients.
The promotion of Mahadevan to the top job at 84.51° continues Kroger’s drive to place executives with experience working in digitally focused roles in senior leadership positions. And if the recent changes Kroger made to its executive ranks are any guide, he could be situated well for further growth at the company.
Kroger created 84.51° in 2015, when the grocer ended its joint venture with dunnhumby and took control of the portion of the alliance’s work that related to the American supermarket chain’s business. The dissolution of dunnhumbyUSA brought about 500 employees under Kroger’s umbrella, and laid the groundwork for the ascension of Mahadevan and Aitken to their new positions.
Before being named to head Kroger’s marketing operations, Aitken served as CEO of 84.51° and led the grocer’s alternative business operations, which include its personal finance and data analysis operations as well as a portfolio of investments.
Kroger has been making progress with the so-called asset-light operations that fall under its alternative business unit, which promise to yield higher profit margins than the company’s core grocery business and have received considerable attention from Kroger’s top leadership. The alternative business operation, which falls under the grocer’s Restock Kroger initiative, was a centerpiece of the company’s annual investors conference in 2019.
Prior to arriving at 84.51°, Aitken served as CEO of dunnhumbyUSA, where Mahadevan was head of client solutions before adding the title of senior vice president. In addition, when Kroger promoted Aitken to be chief merchant, it named another former official of dunnhumbyUSA, Yael Cosset, to take over Aitken’s role running the alternative business unit.