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Kroger’s next CEO worked in Charlotte in ’80s

The Kroger Co., the Cincinnati-based grocery conglomerate that’s in process of buying Harris Teeter, said Friday that president Rodney McMullen will become the company’s next CEO.

Current CEO Dave Dillon will retire Jan. 1, the company said. He will keep his job as chairman of the board of directors through the end of 2014.

“He is ready to be CEO,” Dillon said of McMullen, in a statement.

Kroger plans to spend more than $2.4 billion to buy Matthews-based Harris Teeter, which will keep its own name. The deal still awaits regulatory approval and a vote by Harris Teeter shareholders.

McMullen has spent some time in Charlotte: In 1982, he graduated from college and went to work at a Kroger retail division office in Charlotte. In 1986, he was appointed a financial analyst at the company’s headquarters.

“I am excited to lead our efforts to build on Kroger’s market position and competitive advantages,” said McMullen, in a statement.

Portillo: 704-358-5041 On Twitter @ESPortillo
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