CINCINNATI – Kroger announced  Feb. 18 that Marnette Perry, the senior vice president for retail operations, is planning to retire in April after 44 years at the company.

"Marnette's story is one we can all be proud of: she joined Kroger for a job as a part-time cashier while in college and stayed for a remarkable career that spanned operations, merchandising and executive leadership," said Rodney McMullen, Kroger's chairman and CEO.

Perry joined Kroger in 1972 at a Portsmouth, Ohio, store in the Columbus division and eventually worked her way up to her current position in 2012.

Perry also serves as a member of the board of directors of Kroger Personal Finance and The Kroger Company Foundation and is a past board member of the Network of Executive Women.

As vice president of operations, Perry supported the teamwork that led to Kroger’s QueVision technology, something that significantly reduced customers’ time spent waiting in line at checkout.

“Marnette's significant contributions will leave an indelible mark on Kroger,” McMullen said. “The entire Kroger family thanks Marnette for her years of service and we wish her and her family all the best in retirement."

Perry helped establish Kroger's Natural Foods centers and Flower departments in the early 1980s. Today, Kroger is a top seller of natural and organic foods and is the world's largest florist. Perry successor will be named at a later time.