David Dillon will retire as Kroger board chairman

The Kroger Co. said Thursday that its board chairman and former CEO, David Dillon, will retire at the end of the year after 38 years of service.

The supermarket chain operator said Kroger CEO Rodney McMullen will take over as chairman next year. McMullen has served on the board since 2003.

Dillon is a great-grandson of J.S. Dillon, who founded the Dillons grocery chain in Hutchinson in 1920. The chain was bought by Kroger in 1983.

Dillon served as Kroger's chairman from 2004 to 2014 and as chief executive officer from 2003 to 2013. During his tenure as CEO, Kroger's revenue increased $45 billion, it created 53,000 new jobs, reduced costs for eight consecutive years and returned $9.2 billion to shareholders, according to the company. He also played a critical role on the board in Kroger's growth plan and reducing the company's energy consumption, the company said.