retail news in context, analysis with attitude

The Cincinnati Enquirer has a piece about W. Rodney McMullen, the current president/COO of Kroger who will become CEO next January with the retirement of David Dillon.

Among the points he makes:

On the Harris Teeter acquisition... “One of the keys of a successful integration is figuring out the best of both companies – that’s why we got so excited about merging with them.” (He notes that the successful acquisition of Fred Meyer by Kroger gave it experience with large format stores, which has led to its successful chain of Kroger Marketplace units.)

On some Kroger divisions getting rid of double coupons... “That’s something every market decides (there are 18 supermarket divisions) for themselves – it’s not a decision for corporate. We have a lot of smart people across the organization.”

On David Dillon... "He’s taught me a lot about working with people, the supermarket business and being involved in the community. He’s very unassuming – he doesn’t talk about himself. He’ll talk about his grandchildren."
KC's View:
The thing that seems so clear when one listens to people like Dillon and McMullen is their basic decency - the fact that they respect and value the contributions of other people, and that they recognize that despite their titles they are just part of a team, and that there is an element of servant leadership in how they conduct themselves. And, they keep their eyes on the ball, not allowing themselves to get distracted by minutiae in involved in self-aggrandizing dramas.

That's hugely important, because within an organization, it's infectious.