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Kroger names senior VP of retail divisions

The Kroger Co. promoted Mark Tuffin to senior vice president of retail divisions. He succeeds Michael Ellis, who will become Kroger's president and chief operating officer Jan. 1.

Tuffin has been president of the company's Smith's Food & Drug Stores division since 2011. He brings more than 32 years of grocery industry experience to his new role. He held various positions with other supermarket retailers before joining Smith's Food & Drug Stores in 1996, where he held several key leadership roles, including vice president of merchandising. In 2009, Mr. Tuffin was named vice president of transition for Kroger. In this role, he led Kroger's efforts to implement significant organizational changes between all areas of the business.

"Mark is an exceptional leader with an extensive knowledge of the grocery industry," said Ellis. "He has made significant contributions to our company and industry, while always championing our customer-first strategy. We look forward to Mark's leadership in this senior role as we continue to accelerate Kroger's growth."

Tuffin and his wife, Tami, will relocate to Cincinnati in 2014.

Kroger, one of the world's larger retailers, employs 343,000 associates who serve customers in 2,414 supermarkets and multi-department stores in 31 states under two dozen local banner names, including Kroger, City Market, Dillons, Jay C, Food 4 Less, Fred Meyer, Fry's, King Soopers, QFC, Ralphs and Smith's.

Recognized by Forbes as the most generous company in America, Kroger supports hunger relief, breast cancer awareness, the military and their families, and more than 30,000 schools and grassroots organizations. Kroger contributes food and funds equal to 200 million meals a year through more than 80 Feeding America food bank partners.