Kroger Announces Leadership Changes



Steve McKinney, SVP, announces retirement; Valerie Jabbar, GVP, is named as successor.

After more than 40 years of distinguished service, effective August 7, Steve McKinney, senior vice president of retail divisions,  will be succeeded by Valerie Jabbar, currently, group vice president of center store merchandising.

Steve McKinney, Senior Vice President, Announces Retirement McKinney launched his career with Kroger in 1981 as a clerk for Florida Choice Supermarkets, a former Kroger banner. While there, he proceeded to store manager, buyer and field rep before moving to Fry’s Food Stores, he held several leadership posts before becoming vice president of operations in 1998.

McKinney also worked as vice president of operations for the Southwest division and vice president of operations for the Ralphs division. He was named president of the Fry’s division in 2013 before assuming his current role as senior vice president of retail divisions in 2018.

“Steve is an accomplished leader who has inspired generations of associates to achieving excellence while mentoring many into leadership positions. As a leader who worked in numerous positions and took on new responsibilities, he also committed to the mentoring and development of any associate interested and willing to grow with the company,” says Rodney McMullen, Kroger’s chairman and CEO. “We thank Steve for his dedication throughout the years and wish him all the best in retirement.”

Valerie Jabbar, Group Vice President of Center Store Merchandising, Named Senior Vice President Jabbar, currently group vice president of center store merchandising, will succeed McKinney, upon his retirement.

Jabbar joined the company at Fry’s as a store clerk in 1987. She held several leadership roles at Fry’s before moving to the Mid-Atlantic division in 2012 to serve as vice president of merchandising. In 2013, she was named vice president of merchandising for the Ralphs division and was then promoted to president of that division in July 2016. She was promoted to group vice president of merchandising in 2018 before being named to her current role as group vice president of center store merchandising in 2019.

In this new role, Jabbar will oversee several retail divisions across the company.

“Valerie is a dedicated leader who provides strong results through her passion for people – both associates and customers. Her proven success of building highly motivated teams and executing with excellence will foster energy and commitment to continue delivering a full, fresh and friendly experience for every customer in the divisions she will lead,” says Mary Ellen Adcock, Kroger’s senior vice president of operations. “Valerie’s 34 years of experience with the company bring a deep understanding of the business and will provide yet another valuable perspective among our senior leadership team.” 

Jabbar is a board member for the Network of Executive Women. She was twice recognized by Progressive Grocer as a Top Women in Grocery recipient, first in 2012 as a Rising Star and most recently, in 2021, as a Senior-level Executive. In 2018, she was named West Woman of the Year by the Shelby Report, received the California Conference for Equality and Justice Humanitarian Award, and was designated as the USC Marshall School of Business Food Industry Executive Program Executive in Residence. 


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