David Dillon served The Kroger Company as CEO from 2003 through 2013 and as Chairman until the end of the past year. A great-grandson of J.S. Dillon, the founder of Dillons Foods Stores, Dave literally grew up in supermarkets, joining the family business as a management trainee in 1976 with a business degree from University of Kansas and a law degree from SMU. Following its merger with Kroger in 1983, he served as Dillons Vice President, then as President, becoming EVP of Kroger in 1990 and company President in 1995. Notably, it was on his watch that Kroger merged with Fred Myer in 1999 to create the nation’s largest supermarket company. Throughout his tenure, he championed a business philosophy of “Customer First” which elevated Kroger brands to key components for strategic execution across all operating divisions. The result is that corporate brands development has become one of the central pillars supporting the company’s continuing growth and success.