The Kroger Co. (NYSE: KR) today announced that Bruce A. Lucia has been named president of the Company’s Atlanta division.

Mr. Lucia, 44, most recently served as president of Kroger’s Columbus (OH) division, which operates 108 Kroger stores in Ohio and West Virginia. He has held that position since 1997.

“Bruce Lucia is a talented, seasoned retail executive with a solid track record of achievement in a variety of key positions within Kroger,” said David B. Dillon, Kroger president and chief operating officer. “We are confident that under his strong leadership, Kroger’s Atlanta division will achieve further success as the premier food retailer in the Southeast.”

Mr. Lucia joined Kroger in 1975 as a clerk in Atlanta. During his 25-year career at Kroger, he has held a variety of management positions in the Company’s Atlanta, Nashville, Central, Columbus and Michigan retail divisions. Prior to joining the Columbus division in 1997, Mr. Lucia was president of the Michigan division. He is a graduate of the University of Georgia.

“I’m looking forward to returning to Atlanta, where I spent the first 12 years of my career,” Mr. Lucia said. “Kroger has an outstanding team of associates in the Atlanta division and I’m excited about the growth opportunities for our business there.”

Kroger’s Atlanta division operates 164 stores in Georgia, South Carolina and Alabama.

Headquartered in Cincinnati, Ohio, Kroger is the nation’s largest retail grocery chain. At the end of the second quarter of fiscal 2000, the Company operated 2,338 supermarkets and multi-department stores in 31 states under more than a dozen banners, including Kroger, Fred Meyer, Ralphs, Smith’s, King Soopers, Dillon, Fry’s, City Market, Food 4 Less and Quality Food Centers. Kroger also operates 789 convenience stores, 397 fine jewelry stores and 42 food processing plants.