Ellis Tapped As Kroger President, COO

The Kroger Co. has announced that it has named Michael Ellis president and COO, effective January 1. Ellis played an influential role in growing the company’s Marketplace store format, which stocks a broad assortment of general merchandise including home goods, toys and apparel as well as offering full-service grocery and pharmacy departments.

In September, as part of an announced succession plan, Kroger stated that David Dillon, Kroger’s chairman and CEO, would retire as CEO on January 1, 2014, but will continue to serve as chairman through December 31, 2014. Rodney McMullen, Kroger’s president and COO, will become CEO on January 1, 2014.

Ellis, 55, has been serving as senior vp/retail divisions since 2012, supervising five supermarket divisions, plus Kroger’s jewelry and convenience store businesses. Before that, he was president of Portland, OR, based Fred Meyer, the company’s largest operating division by revenue, for six years.

“Mike’s broad-based experience on both the food and general merchandise sides of our business make him a great fit for this role,” Dillon said in announcing the promotion.

Mr. McMullen noted, “Mike has been a key player in our strategic efforts for many years, including the expansion of Fred Meyer’s general merchandising expertise throughout the company and, more recently, our accelerated growth plan. His extensive knowledge spans our multiple formats and unique approaches to merchandising. Mike’s insistence on operational excellence and his willingness to push boundaries to improve the customer experience will ensure Kroger continues to grow and deliver shareholder value.”