Ep. 30: Values, with Kroger’s Rodney McMullen

By Milken Institute

Rodney McMullen Chairman and CEO, The Kroger Co. “We made the decision to share publicly all the work that we were doing internally in case it could be helpful….We're trying to pay it forward just like others paid it forward to us.” When Rodney McMullen took a high school job bagging groceries at his local Kroger, he had no way to know he’d go on to lead the company—now one of America’s largest employers. Another surprise in his American Dream story: that his associates would one day be frontline heroes in a global pandemic. And the company itself is playing a hero role. As so many businesses struggle and lay off workers, Kroger’s hiring 60,000 new employees. “A lot of those people...come out of the food-service industry, come out of working in small medical professions, or for veterinarians….People that are naturally inclined to serve others. So that's one of the things that's really helped us maintain our values.”

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