Retail C-Suite Moves: Kroger, Batteries Plus, Sweetgreen

Jamie Grill-Goodman
Editor in Chief
Jamie goodman
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Todd Foley, group vice president, corporate controller and chief accounting officer, has been appointed interim chief financial officer. Credit: Kroger

In the latest retail executive news, Kroger is on the search for a new chief financial officer, Batteries Plus has named a chief development officer, and Sweetgreen appointed a chief operating officer. Learn which retail executives are making moves in the C-suite this week. 

Kroger Announces CFO Transition

Gary Millerchip is stepping down as senior vice president and chief financial officer of The Kroger Co. to assume an executive role at another public company. 

Todd Foley, group vice president, corporate controller and chief accounting officer, has been appointed interim chief financial officer. The supermarket retailer will name a CFO successor at a later date.

"Todd is a proven leader who has served in key finance roles and has contributed meaningfully to Kroger's growth and transformation over more than 20 years," said Rodney McMullen, Kroger's chairman and CEO. "Todd is the right person to take the helm and will step in seamlessly to continue advancing our value creation model and maintain a strong financial framework for our company as we plan ahead for our pending merger with Albertsons. At Kroger, we are fortunate to benefit from an incredibly deep bench of talent across our finance team and all levels of our organization as we continue to execute our strategy and generate sustainable returns for our shareholders."

McMullen continued, "On behalf of the Kroger Board and management team, I want to thank Gary for his contributions over the last 15 years, supporting Kroger's industry leadership and significant growth opportunities."

Foley is a seasoned finance executive with over 30 years of experience. Since joining Kroger in 2001, he has served as assistant corporate controller, vice president and treasurer, and most recently as group vice president, corporate controller and chief accounting officer. He has been an architect of Kroger's financial strategy, including the Company's current Leading with Fresh, Accelerating with Digital strategy.

[Nominations for RIS' CIO of the Year Awards are currently open. Nominate a deserving executive today!]

Batteries Plus Announces Chief Development Officer

Batteries Plus promoted Joe Malmuth to the position of chief development officer. In this new role, Malmuth will lead the brand's robust plans for franchise growth and development. Malmuth has been with Batteries Plus for nearly four years, serving in a multitude of roles related to Batteries Plus' franchise development arm, most recently serving as the brand's chief franchising officer.

"I am incredibly honored to take on the role of chief development officer at Batteries Plus as we navigate this exciting path of expansion," Malmuth said. "This promotion is not only a testament to my evolving career with Batteries Plus, but also a reflection of our great leadership team and the remarkable franchise community we've built together. I look forward to continuing to grow Batteries Plus' footprint as we strive to strengthen our presence in the specialty battery retail market."

Malmuth's tenure as chief franchising officer – a position he's held since Fall 2022 – has been marked by achievements of the growth and success of the Batteries Plus franchise network. Batteries Plus is poised to mark a fifth straight year of record-breaking growth. Under Malmuth's guidance, Batteries Plus additionally introduced its Market Stewardship franchising opportunity that awards franchisees an entire market, with the first of such agreements signed for the Atlanta market in Summer 2023.

"This promotion is a natural move for Joe as he's already demonstrated impressive development of the Batteries Plus franchise," said Jon Sica, chief business officer of Batteries Plus. "From his commitment to fostering positive relationships with our franchisees, to his passion for the industry and innovative approach to business development, we're confident Joe will continue to play a pivotal role in driving Batteries Plus' success."

Sweetgreen Appoints Chief Operating Officer

Sweetgreen has named Rossann Williams as the company’s chief operating officer. Williams joins Sweetgreen’s executive leadership team and will oversee Operations, Real Estate + Development and Supply Chain. Williams is an accomplished global operations executive bringing more than 30 years of experience leading retail businesses. 

“Rossann is an industry veteran with a proven track record in driving sustainable growth of global, iconic brands and leading teams to generate profitability,” said Jonathan Neman, CEO and co-founder of Sweetgreen. “Rossann complements the existing skills and experience of our leadership team as we pursue our next chapter of growth. It’s clear that she shares our values, and I look forward to partnering with Rossann to further our mission of connecting more communities to real food.”

Prior to joining Sweetgreen, Williams spent over 18 years at Starbucks, where she rose to EVP and president of North America Retail. In this role, she oversaw a market of approximately 16,000 stores, where she significantly improved same-store sales, successfully opened thousands of new stores and helped navigate the company through the pandemic. At Starbucks, Williams also served in senior operations roles across North America, eventually rising to SVP, Global and Americas Operations Services. Previously, Williams held leadership roles for several well-known Fortune 500 brands, including Blockbuster and Toys “R” Us.

“I’ve long admired Sweetgreen’s leadership as a founder-led, mission-driven company driving the industry forward. I am deeply aligned with Sweetgreen’s values, people-centric approach and commitment to connect more people to delicious, real food. I’m thrilled to be joining the Sweetgreen team at a moment of significant growth and an incredible opportunity ahead,” said Williams.

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