The Kroger Co. (NYSE: KR) yesterday announced that James W. Hallsey has been promoted to president of Smith's Food & Drug Stores in Salt Lake City, Utah, effective immediately. He succeeds Russ Dispense, who last week was appointed president of King Soopers in Denver, Colorado. Mr. Hallsey, 58, previously served as executive vice president of sales and marketing, a position he had held since 1998. He began his career in the grocery industry as a boy working in his father's Tooele County store. Mr. Hallsey joined Smith's in 1964 with Smith's acquisition of Mayfair stores. Since then, he has held a variety of management positions in the corporate office including senior vice president drug division and senior vice president of special projects. From 1995 to 1998, Mr. Hallsey served as the company's senior vice president and southwest regional manager from Smith's regional office in Phoenix, Arizona.