CINCINNATI – After the retirement of Kroger senior vice president and chief merchant Joe Greishaber, who served 37 years at the company, Kroger has named Stuart W. Aitken as Greishaber’s successor.
Aiken is currently senior vice president of alternative business and chief executive officer of 84.51˚, Kroger's data analytics subsidiary and will take over the new position on August 15. Yael Cosset, senior vice president and chief information officer, will assume responsibility for alternative business and 84.51˚.
"Today's leadership announcements are consistent with our positive track record of strong succession planning and will help us to continue to drive transformation of our business and culture, focusing on speed, action and agility to deliver value for our customers and shareholders," said Rodney McMullen, Kroger's chairman and CEO. "We are greatly appreciative of the unique talents and contributions that each of these leaders has provided to Kroger to create a best-in-class experience for our associates and customers."
“We thank Joe for his 37 years of service, leading with excellence by developing and uplifting associates and creating and executing innovative, results-oriented strategies. He's been instrumental to Kroger as an accomplished leader with a passion for people and results, and we wish him all the best in retirement.”
Aitken was named a group vice president five years ago and has led 84.51˚ as CEO since its inception in 2015. As the leader of 84.51°, he played a critical role in integrating data-based decision making into Kroger's merchandising organization. In January 2019, Aitken was promoted to senior vice president of alternative business, tasked with managing several groups, including 84.51°, Kroger Precision Marketing and Kroger Personal Finance.
Prior to Kroger, Aitken held various leadership roles with other companies, including Michael's Stores, Safeway, Inc. and dunnhumby USA, where he served as CEO from 2009 to 2015.
"Stuart's outstanding leadership and deep history of putting the customer first through data-driven decisions and personalization will further transform our business for growth," said McMullen. "Bringing together merchandising and marketing under one leader will strengthen our brand promise of Fresh for Everyone."
Meanwhile, Cosset was promoted to group vice president and chief digital officer in 2017, where he led the company's overall digital growth strategy, ecommerce expansion and Vitacost business. He was named senior vice president and CIO in May 2019, assuming responsibility for Kroger Technology and blending two talented teams to form Kroger Technology & Digital. Previously, he served as chief commercial officer and chief information officer of 84.51°.
Prior to Kroger, Cosset held several leadership roles at dunnhumby, including executive vice president of consumer markets, global chief information officer and CEO of KSS Retail – an enterprise software company.
"Yael will continue to play an essential role in accelerating our grocery-to-growth business model," said McMullen. "His exemplary leadership, vision and customer-first obsession to make people's lives easier using technology and data will help us to create more personalized and engaging shopping experiences and drive more trips."