The Kroger Co. SVP & CIO on how ‘retail is in the detail’

The List 2024 honoree Yael Cosset answers “20 Questions”
By NRF Foundation Contributor

The Kroger Co. Senior Vice President and Chief Information Officer Yael Cosset will be celebrated at the NRF Foundation Honors as one of the dynamic leaders on The List of People Shaping Retail’s Future 2024. He reflects on how he’s built a career in retail, his passion for food and business transformation, and connecting millions of families every day to their favorite foods, helping them live happier and healthier lives.

Here are a few questions, along with Cosset’s answers (watch the video above for all “20 Questions”):

How did you get to the role you are currently in?

My entire career has been about the intersection between technology, digital, data, and business transformation. 

When the opportunity came up to transform how The Kroger Company thinks about e-commerce and how the company thinks about using technology to transform customer and associate experience, I raised my hand. You could call that courage or maybe craziness, or a little bit of both, but that's how I got to where I am today.

What career advice would you give to your 20-year-old self?

Assuming I would've listened to it, I probably would start with, don't forget to be naive and optimistic about what comes forward. That is what gives you courage, gives you the energy to be bold and aspire to do things that are going to be impactful and transformative.

What qualities do you look for in employees?

The most important and the nonnegotiable trait of character or quality in anybody in a team is passion. If you're passionate about it, we have plenty of opportunities in our organization, no matter your role.

What innovations are you most proud of?

The ability to evolve our culture, to think differently when it mattered, to evolve our thinking. Evolving to a culture that is outcome centric has been a big part of our innovation.

How does your company – and the retail industry overall – impact people in every community every day?

As retailers, as Kroger, we have both an opportunity and a responsibility to continue to find ways to positively impact the communities where we operate, the communities we serve our customers. We have to continue to find ways, partnering with local food bank, with organizations who look for ways to bring food to communities who need it. We look for innovation, and technology, and data to see how we can bring that to life and bridge that gap that exists in some of our communities.

The NRF Foundation connects people to an industry that’s a great place to start and a great place to grow. Since 2015, the NRF Foundation Honors has raised the funds to continue to provide programs and resources to help people build better lives and stronger communities. Join us in New York City and be a part of the story of how retail builds extraordinary careers.