Kroger chief digital officer retiring, to be succeeded by customer engagement guru
CINCINNATI — The chief commercial officer and chief information officer of 84.51°, a customer engagement firm and subsidiary of Kroger, will succeed Kevin Dougherty, Kroger group VP and chief digital officer following his retirement Jan. 27, the retailer announced Tuesday.
"Kevin has been an integral partner in leading both our logistics operation and, over the last several years, leading Kroger's strategic entry into the digital space," stated Rodney McMullen, chairman and CEO, Kroger. "He has led Kroger's e-commerce and digital customer strategy during a period of tremendous growth and change, driving innovation and reshaping our customers' digital experience. Kevin is a proven leader and passionate advocate for our associates and our customers. We wish him, his wife Barbara, and their family all the best in retirement."
Filling that role now will be Yael Cosset, 43. Cosset joined dunnhumby in 2009 as EVP consumer markets. He was named global chief information officer in 2011 and led technology and product matters. He also served as CEO of KSS Retail, a dunnhumby company and global enterprise software provider of price modeling and optimization solutions for retailers worldwide.
In both roles, Cosset collaborated closely with executives at Kroger as well as Tesco, Macy's and Raley's among others, to deliver innovative customer insight and personalization platforms. He was named to his current role at 84.51° in 2015.
"Yael is a passionate advocate for using customer science to make a difference in the lives of our customers. His deep experience in applying technology and innovation in retail make him a perfect fit for this important role," McMullen said. "Yael is a thoughtful and collaborative leader who will empower his team to create innovative solutions that deliver a differentiating and meaningful, personalized experience to our customers."
Cosset and his wife, Judy, live with their son in Cincinnati.
Supervalu completes Save-A-Lot sale
EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. — Supervalu completed the sale of its Save-A-Lot business to an affiliate of ONEX for $1.365 billion.
Following this closing, Supervalu is now organized into two primary business segments, Wholesale and Retail. Supervlua is one of the largest grocery wholesalers and retailers in the United States with annual sales of approximately $13 billion. It serves customers across the United States via a network of 2,012 stores comprised of 1,815 stores operated by wholesale customers serviced primarily by the company’s food distribution business and 197 traditional retail grocery stores operated under five retail banners. In addition, the company operates 22 stores under the Shop ‘N Save name in Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia and West Virginia.
In connection with the closing of the sale, Supervalu and Save-A-Lot have also entered into a five-year professional services agreement pursuant to which Supervalu will continue providing certain back office services to Save-A-Lot.
“With the successful completion of the Save-A-Lot sale, we are well positioned for the future with a stronger balance sheet, the opportunity to more strategically invest in our business, and the ability to more keenly focus on our core business as a leading grocery wholesaler,” said Supervalu President and CEO Mark Gross. “We also look forward to continuing our relationship with Save-A-Lot as one of our important professional services customers.”
Supervalu announced that it has used $750 million of the net proceeds from the sale to prepay that portion of its outstanding term loan balance. The company intends to use the remaining net sale proceeds to further reduce debt and improve its capital structure, contribute to its pension plan, as well as to fund corporate and growth initiatives.
Barclays Capital and Greenhill & Co. acted as financial advisors to Supervalu, while Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz served as its legal advisor.
Wakefern elevates veteran Chris Lane to EVP
KEASBEY, N.J. — Wakefern Food has promoted a 13-year veteran of the company to executive vice president, overseeing day-to-day operations and strategy planning.
Wakefern Food Corp. President and COO Joe Sheridan announced the promotion of Chris Lane, SVP of Product Divisions, to EVP of the company.
“Our goal was to select an individual who would honor our past and at the same time challenge the status quo to ensure a bright future for Wakefern and our members. We’re happy to announce that Chris Lane has been appointed to the position,” said Sheridan. “Chris is innovative, forward thinking and willing to take the calculated risks required to navigate a challenging competitive environment where emerging technologies and changing consumer preferences require us to be nimble and able to respond with urgency.”
Lane joined Wakefern in 2003 as VP of Pharmacy and in 2005 added Health and Beauty Care (HBC) to his responsibilities. By 2008, he was promoted to VP, grocery, direct store delivery and commercial bakery. In 2011, he was promoted again to SVP, non-perishables, and most recently was named SVP, product divisions where, in addition to his responsibility for Wakefern’s various procurement divisions, he also led health-and-wellness initiatives.
Prior to joining Wakefern, Lane served as VP of pharmacy at Duane Reade. Lane is a member of the National Association of Chain Drug Stores Board of Directors and a member of the Trinitas Regional Medical Center Board of Directors.
Wakefern comprises 50 member companies that own and operate supermarkets under the ShopRite, The Fresh Grocer, PriceRite and Dearborn Market banners. The 70-year-old company reported retail sales of $16 billion during its annual meeting in October.