The Kroger Co. (NYSE: KR) today announced that M. Marnette Perry has been named president of the Company’s Columbus (OH) division.

Ms. Perry, 49, replaces Bruce Lucia, who last week was named president of the Company’s Atlanta division. She most recently served as president of Kroger’s Michigan division, which operates 106 stores in that state. Ms. Perry has held that position since 1997.

“Marnette Perry brings a great deal of merchandising experience and leadership to our Columbus operations,” said David B. Dillon, Kroger president and chief operating officer. “She has a keen sense of what customers want and expect in our neighborhood stores, and she combines that experience with a strong commitment to community involvement.”

Ms. Perry joined Kroger in 1972 as a part-time cashier in Portsmouth, Ohio, while attending Ohio University. She became a full-time employee one year later. Ms. Perry has held a variety of management positions during her 28-year career at Kroger and was instrumental in the development of Kroger’s in-store floral shops. Prior to becoming president of the Michigan division in 1997, she served as vice president of merchandising in Kroger’s Delta division, based in Memphis.

“The opportunity to return to Columbus is a particularly exciting assignment for me,” Ms. Perry said. “Our associates there have done a terrific job of building a strong business with a sharp focus on customer service, and I’m looking forward to building on that long history of success.”

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.