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Kroger makes executive changes

The Kroger Co. announced Valerie Jabbar, currently president of the Ralphs division, as group vice president of merchandising for the company, effective Sept. 1. Mike Murphy, currently vice president of operations for the Columbus division, will succeed Jabbar as president of the Ralphs division.krolog

Jabbar began her Kroger career in 1987 as a clerk in the Fry's division. She has held several leadership roles, including assistant store director, category manager, drug/general merchandise coordinator, corporate seasonal manager, and director of drug/general merchandise, as well as district manager in the Fry's division. In 2012, she moved to the Mid-Atlantic division to serve as vice president of merchandising before joining the Ralphs division in 2013 as vice president of merchandising. Jabbar was promoted to division president in July 2016.

"Valerie brings a wealth of knowledge, experience and insight to this role," said Mike Donnelly, Kroger's executive vice president and chief operating officer. "As we continue the work of Restock Kroger, her ability to lead and deliver for our associates and customers will continue to transform our business."

Jabbar serves as the president of the Food Industries Circle and is a board member for the Western Association of Food Chains, as well as the food industry executive in residence for the USC Marshall School of Business. She is a mentor for emerging leaders through the Ralphs division's women's associate resource group.

Murphy joined Kroger in 1999 as an accountant in the company's auditing department in Cincinnati. He moved to finance in 2001 and then to drug/general merchandise to manage financial reporting and analysis. In 2004, he completed the management development program in the Cincinnati/Dayton division. In 2005, he was named a category manager for drug/general merchandise and personal care. In 2007, he moved to the Central division in Indiana and served as assistant merchandiser for both drug/general merchandise and grocery. In 2011, Mr. Murphy moved to the Louisville division as a grocery merchandiser and was promoted to district manager in 2014. He was promoted to vice president of merchandising in the Columbus division in 2016, and then to his current role in 2017.

"Mike is a dynamic leader who brings great passion to our business," said Donnelly "His strong commitment to our purpose and promise, and extensive grocery retail experience, make him a great asset to our Ralphs division."

Ralphs is headquartered in Compton, CA. It operates 191 stores in Southern California and employs more than 21,000 associates.