By Michelle Graff
Peter Engel, who has been president of Fred Meyer since 2005, will leave the company at the end of March, the retailer confirmed Wednesday.
Cincinnati—Fred Meyer Jewelers President Peter Engel will exit at the end of March as part of a review to “prioritize investments in our business,” the company confirmed in a statement.

Joining Engel in his exit are Group Vice President Kirsten Darrow and Carolyn Dabbundo, the vice president of sales east.

Jon Cook, the vice president of operations for Fred Meyer Jewelers, and Julie Keeney, vice president of sales, will lead the jeweler.

Cook, Keeney and the rest of the leadership team will report to Todd Kammeyer, the vice president of merchandising for the Fred Meyer chain of grocery stores.

The Kroger Co., the country’s largest grocer and third largest retailer overall, owns Fred Meyer and Fred Meyer Jewelers. It acquired them in 1999.

Engel has worked for Fred Meyer Jewelers since 1981, starting as a sales associate. He was promoted to manager in 1986 before moving up to become a regional supervisor in 1993.

When the company acquired Littman Jewelers in 1998, Engel was promoted to oversee operations on the East Coast before being promoted again in 2001, to group vice president of store operations.

He became president of Fred Meyer Jewelers in 2005.

Engel is a well-known and much-honored executive in the fine jewelry industry, serving on the boards of Jewelers for Children, the Diamond Council of America and of the organization previously known as the Diamond Empowerment Fund (now Diamonds Do Good).

He won the Women’s Jewelry Association’s Ben Kaiser Lifetime Achievement Award in 2016 and the American Gem Society’s Triple Zero Award in 2017.

He currently serves on the board of directors for Jewelers of America.

The exits of Engel, Darrow and Dabbundo follow last year’s news that 71 Fred Meyer Jewelers stores located within Kroger Marketplace stores would close.

In its statement, the company said Fred Meyer Jewelers will “continue to be a leading jewelry retailer … and an important part of the Kroger Co.,” with more than 150 stores and e-commerce operations.

Fred Meyer Jewelers ranks No. 23 on National Jeweler’s latest list of the largest fine jewelry sellers in North America, with an estimated $344 million in jewelry and watch sales.

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