The Kroger Co. (NYSE: KR) today announced that Saundra Linn has been named Group Vice President of Retail Operations.

Ms. Linn, 40, most recently served as Vice President of Operations for Kroger’s Atlanta division. In her new position, she will be responsible for identifying and coordinating ”best practices” to improve the operating efficiency of the Company’s more than 2,300 retail stores. She also will focus on opportunities to improve store productivity and worker safety. Ms. Linn will report to David Dillon, Kroger president and chief operating officer.

Ms. Linn joined Kroger in 1983 as an industrial engineer. In 1987, she was promoted to financial analyst and later held a series of finance positions, including assistant treasurer, at the Company’s headquarters. She was named Director of Capital Management & Finance in 1996. Ms. Linn was promoted to the Atlanta division in 1998. She is a graduate of Purdue University and has an MBA from the University of Cincinnati.

”We’re delighted to welcome Saundra to Kroger’s senior management team,” Mr. Dillon said. ”She was actively involved in identifying and adopting best practices in our Atlanta division, and her experience in finance and operations will be important as we find new ways to operate more efficiently.”

Headquartered in Cincinnati, Ohio, Kroger is the nation’s largest retail grocery chain. The Company operates 2,343 supermarkets and multi-department stores in 31 states under nearly two dozen banners, including Kroger, Fred Meyer, Ralphs, Smith’s, King Soopers, Dillon, Fry’s, Food 4 Less, Quality Food Centers, City Market and Jay C Stores. Kroger also operates 787 convenience stores, 396 fine jewelry stores, 57 supermarket fuel centers and 42 food processing plants.