Roundy's Bob Mariano to retire

Roundy's CEO Bob Mariano has announced his retirement effective September 1, following the company's acquisition by Kroger.

Mariano is credited with creating Roundy's-owned Mariano's, his namesake banner, in the Chicago market. The upscale supermarket's position in that market was a key attraction for Kroger (NYSE:KR) leading up to the acquisition.

The 66-year-old Mariano began his grocery career in 1967 as a part-time deli clerk at Dominick's supermarket in Chicago. He was ultimately named president and CEO of Dominick's in 1995 until it was purchased by Safeway in 1998.

He joined Roundy's in 2002, opened the first Mariano's location in 2010, and quickly expanded through the acquisition of Dominick's locations after Safeway exited the market. Today there are 34 Mariano's in the Chicago market.

"Bob has been a tremendous leader for Roundy's and the entire supermarket industry. The centerpiece of his career, of course, is the Mariano's chain of stores in his hometown of Chicago," said Rodney McMullen, Kroger chairman and CEO. "We see a bright future ahead for our Pick 'N Save and Metro Market stores in Wisconsin and for Mariano's stores in Chicago. And we look forward to our continued partnership with Bob as a strategic consultant and advisor. The entire Kroger and Roundy's family extends our best wishes to Bob and his family in retirement."

Kroger bought Roundy's for $800 million in October. At the time, Mariano told FierceRetail that he didn't expect much to change, for his role or the chain.

Mariano will remain in an advisory role for two years and Don Rosanova, president of Mariano's, and Michael Marx, president of Roundy's Supermarkets Wisconsin, will continue to serve in their current roles leading the two supermarket divisions.

For more:
- see this Kroger press release