CINCINNATI — Michael Ellis, currently senior vice-president of retail divisions at The Kroger Co., will be named president and chief operating officer on Jan. 1, 2014, as part of the succession plan announced in September.

Chairman and chief executive officer David Dillon will retire from his CEO role on Jan. 1, and W. Rodney McMullen, Kroger’s current president and chief operating officer, will succeed Dillon.

In his current position since 2012, Ellis oversees five retail supermarket divisions, plus Kroger’s jewelry and convenience-store businesses. Previously, he was president of Fred Meyer for six years.

“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,” McMullen said. “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. Above all else, Mike brings a contagious enthusiasm for our associates and putting the customer first.”