Kroger on the hunt for a COO
Cincinnati — Kroger now finds itself in need of a COO.
In an abrupt announcement, Kroger on Tuesday said president and COO Mike Ellis has retired after 40 years with the company. The grocer said a successor will be named at a later date.
"We're very grateful to Mike for his contributions over the past 40 years, and we wish him all the best in retirement," said Rodney McMullen, Kroger's chairman and CEO. "We have long taken a team approach to leadership and together our highly-experienced team of operators and merchandisers is focused on delivering on our aggressive growth goals."
Ellis joined Fred Meyer in 1975 as a parcel clerk at age 16, and went on to serve in a series of operations and merchandising leadership positions in stores, division management and as a corporate officer. He was VP of Fred Meyer's food group before joining Kroger as a senior officer in 2004. He returned to lead Fred Meyer as president in 2006.
He was promoted to senior VP retail divisions in 2012, leading five operating divisions, as well as Kroger's jewelry and convenience store businesses, and became president and COO on Jan. 1, 2014.
Jo-Ann Fabric in exec hiring, promotion
Hudson, Ohio — Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft Stores announced a key hire in marketing, and a promotion in merchandising.
Jo-Ann has hired Amy Parker as senior VP, marketing & advertising. Most recently, Amy was the chief marketing officer for Pet Supplies Plus and prior, chief marketing officer for the home division at Sears Holdings.
Previously, she was with Michaels, Toys “R” Us, and several other multi-unit chains.
In other announcements, Megan Featherston, formerly senior VP, merchandising at Jo-Ann, has been promoted to executive VP, merchandising & marketing. In her new role, Megan will oversee the merchandising, marketing, Joann.com and business intelligence & analytics teams.
Prior to joining Jo-Ann in May, 2014, Featherston was the executive VP of merchandising for Haskell Jewels. Previously, she was president of the fine jewelry division of Sears Holdings and held leadership roles at Wilson Leather, Michaels, and Payless Shoe Source when it was a division of The May Company.
Retailers, restaurants to feel impact of overtime pay expansion
Washington, D.C. — Retailers and restaurant owners can expect their labor costs to rise under a new proposal from the Obama administration.
On Tuesday, the Department of Labor unveiled a proposal whereby salaried workers who earn up to $50,440 a year would be eligible for time-and-a-half overtime wages when they work more than 40 hours per week. That is more than double the current threshold of $23,660, or $455 per week, established in 2004.
The proposal would raise wages for 5 million white-collar American workers, according to the Labor Department’s estimates. According to a report on Business Insider, food service managers, first-line servers of food preparation and first-line supervisors of retail store workers are among the top 10 categories most likely to be affected by the rule.
The proposal does not need congressional approval to be adopted. It will undergo a comment period before the Labor Department determines what to include in a final rule next year.
The National Retail Federation has argued against the pay expansion.
On Tuesday, the group issued a statement criticizing the proposal.
“This proposal isn’t a law but it certainly reflects one – the law of unintended consequences at a time when the economy and those struggling the most can least afford it,” stated David French, senior VP for government relations at the NRF. Our research shows that the managers who would supposedly benefit oppose this plan and that few workers should actually see more take-home pay. There simply isn’t any magic pot of money that lets employers pay more just because the government says so.”