Kroger Division President Jerry Clontz to Retire
CINCINNATI, OH - Jerry Clontz, longtime Kroger employee and current President of the Mid-Atlantic Division, has announced his retirement after 48 years of service with the retailer. Clontz has held the President position since 2017, when he was promoted from Senior Vice President of Operations, a position in which he helped the Harris Teeter banner add 79 new stores in Washington, D.C., Northern Virginia, Southern Maryland, and Coastal Delaware.
"Jerry has been an outstanding leader and colleague over his nearly five decades with the organization," said Mike Donnelly, Executive Vice President and COO. "His passion for both people and results has been exemplified throughout his career. We applaud his mentorship and development of associates and teams across our family of companies."
After first joining Kroger in 1971 as a bagger in North Carolina, Clontz quickly rose through the ranks, holding various retail positions like Store Manager, Store Director, and Field Specialist, before assuming the role of District Manager in 1991. Three years later, he was then promoted to Regional Dirctor. In 1991, he was named Regional Vice President, putting him on his path to becoming Senior Vice President of Operations and ultimately President of the Mid-Atlantic Division.
With such big shoes to fill, Kroger is wasting no time in ensuring the pivotal position is manned by a leader just as effective as Clontz. Paula Ginnett has been deemed that leader. Effective November 1, the former Walmart Vice President will assume the President of the Mid-Atlantic Division position, overseeing the division’s 110 stores and 15,000 associates.
"Paula is well-respected in the industry for being both a dynamic leader and a top retail strategist," continued Donnelly. "She brings more than 25 years of retail experience to her new role as President of our Mid-Atlantic division. We look forward to her leadership in redefining the grocery customer experience, developing talent and living our purpose."
Ginnett comes to Kroger after 25+ years with Walmart. For the past five years, she’s served as Vice President, Regional General Manager for Walmart U.S., leading 188 stores and a fleet of 45,000 employees, according to a press release. Prior to her VP role, she held the position of Vice President, Store Planning, in which she executed new store openings, remodels, and special projects for Walmart U.S. and Sam’s Club. Her resume also includes various leadership positions in merchandising and operations and a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from Capella University.
In addition to her decorated retail career, Ginnett has also set an example for what it means to be a dedicated community leader by volunteering with the American Cancer Society—Making Strides, American Heart Association, Children's Miracle Network and Susan G. Komen—Race for the Cure, as noted in a press release.
Congratulations to Jerry Clontz and Paula Ginnett on these next steps in their careers!