The Kroger Co. has announced the retirement of Delta Division president Scot Hendricks and the promotion of Victor Smith to succeed him. Smith currently serves as vice president of merchandising for the Ralphs division.

Hendricks will retire from the company, effective Feb. 2, after 38 years of distinguished service – the last three leading Kroger's Delta division, serving customers in 101 stores across west Tennessee and parts of Mississippi, Arkansas, Kentucky and Missouri.

"Scot's genuine love and passion for the retail business and for his Delta family is illustrated in his interactions with everyone he meets," said Mike Donnelly, Kroger's executive vice president and COO. "His passion for people has made him a tremendous mentor, and he will leave a legacy of driven, hard-working teams who care about each other and the customers and communities they serve."

An avid supporter of first responders and military personnel, Hendricks led the first veteran Thanksgiving dinner distribution in 2017. Through his efforts, the Delta division has donated holiday meals to 3,500 veterans and Memphis police officers over the past two years.

A graduate of Middle Tennessee State University, Hendricks began his career with Kroger in the Nashville division management training program in 1981. After two years, he was promoted to a grocery buyer. From 1986-2000, Scot served in several leadership roles in the Atlanta division.

In 2000, he was promoted to Kroger's corporate office in Cincinnati, where he served in different roles of increasing responsibility including vice president of grocery merchandising and procurement. In 2011, he was promoted to vice president of merchandising for the Cincinnati/Dayton division, where he served until being appointed to vice president of operations in 2014.

New president of Delta Division
Smith, currently vice president of merchandising for the Ralphs division, has been promoted to president of the Delta division, effective Feb. 3.

"Victor has been a valuable leader for this company, no matter his role, since he started with us 35 years ago," Donnelly said. "He brings a level of operational excellence that will only strengthen the work Scot has done in the Delta division, and will help us continue to deliver on Restock Kroger, our plan to create shareholder value by serving America through food inspiration and uplift."

Smith joined Kroger in 1983 as a courtesy clerk in the Ralphs division. He advanced to other roles within the division including store manager, operations research analyst, shrink manager, operations coordinator, district manager and meat merchandiser.

In 2015, Smith was promoted to vice president of operations in the Houston division, before returning to Ralphs in his current role in 2016, where he leads merchandising, both sales and marketing, for all 191 Ralphs locations throughout Southern California.

He is a 1999 graduate of the University of Southern California Food Industry Management Program, a 2015 graduate of the University of Southern California Food Industry Executive Program and is on the board of directors for the Los Angeles Regional Food Bank.