LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Kroger Co. said Wednesday that John Hackett, president of Kroger’s Mid-South division here, would retire effective June 29 after 50 years with the company. A successor has not yet been named.

Hackett began working at Kroger as a clerk in 1963 in Ohio and entered the company’s management training program in 1968. He held a variety of marketing and operations roles before being named director of merchandising in the Louisville division in 1984. In 1990, he was promoted to president of the division, and oversaw the merger of the Louisville and Nashville, Tenn., divisions, to create the Mid-South division.

“During his 50-year career, John has consistently demonstrated his passion for and commitment to our associates, our customers and our local communities,” said Rodney McMullen, president and chief operating officer at Cincinnati-based Kroger Co. “In addition to being a great executive, John is a first class human being and person. When you define a gentleman the definition is John Hackett. We thank John and his wife Kay for their many years of dedicated service and wish them the best in retirement.”

During his 29 years in Louisville, Kroger said the division grew from 55 stores to 161 and sales increased more than ten-fold. Under his watch the Mid-South division pioneered self-checkout, opened the company’s first Kroger fuel station and the first Little Clinic. Hackett also led an employee safety initiative that reduced accidents by 70% and became a model for the entire company.