ICA: new management and digital-focused strategy

Date : 03 July 2019

Sweden-based ICA has appointed a new chief digital officer (CDO) and new chief strategy and business development officer (CSO). The two positions will spearhead the roll out of ICA’s online and digital strategy.

Anders Bärlund selected as CSO…

Anders Bärlund has been appointed as the new CSO, replacing Liv Forhaug by 30 September 2019. Bärlund will also join the ICA Gruppen Management Team (IMT) and report to CEO, Per Strömberg.

For the last five years, Bärlund has led McKinsey’s work on digital and commercial transformations with retail clients in Asia. In his upcoming role as CSO, Bärlund will lead and develop ICA’s major business strategy projects and drive digitalisation.

…after Jan Prokopec becomes CDO

The appointment of Bärlund follows that of Jan Prokopec, former CEO of Blocket AB, who replaced Peter Muld as CDO in June 2019. Muld was promoted to head of strategy, new business and digital transformation for ICA Sweden.

Prokopec is now responsible for “devising strategies for ICA’s digital development and identifying opportunities between companies in the Group.” He also manages the ICAx innovation hub and artificial intelligence function and reports to Bärlund.

Economies of scale in numerous areas…

Commenting on the appointments, CEO Per Strömberg said, “The Group structure that we have established creates great opportunities for ICA Gruppen to continue developing the offering and create economies of scale in numerous areas.”

…including online and digital

Online was a key driver of growth in 2018 with sales increasing by 42% to SEK 1,729m (€165.8m). ICA will continue to grow and expand its online offering throughout 2019. It also hopes to launch new digital services and implement artificial intelligence to improve efficiency and optimise business processes.

Commenting on ICA’s strategy, CEO Strömberg said, “Our digital agenda is comprehensive and is a common theme throughout our strategy. Our focus areas going forward will of course include continuing to develop our ecommerce offering.” Bärlund and Prokopec will work together to carry out the Group’s digital and online-focused strategic priorities.