Ahold Delhaize: management changes

Date : 05 October 2018

Wouter Kolk steps into his role as CEO of Ahold Delhaize Europe and Indonesia three months early, while Delhaize Belgium has announced its new executive committee.

Wouter Kolk becomes CEO of Europe and Indonesia

Wouter Kolk has started his new role as CEO of Ahold Delhaize Europe and Indonesia. Kolk has stepped into the role three months early. The retailer said his early appointment is to enable it ‘to fully capture the growth opportunities we have in Europe’.

Kolk will be responsible for supporting the company’s local brands, delivering new strategies for Europe and developing digital, ecommerce and purchasing initiatives. He will work with a small team comprising a financial director, HR director and a director of strategy. The positions are in the process of being filled.

Executive committee reshuffle in Belgium

Delhaize Belgium, meanwhile, has separately announced several changes to its executive committee.

From 1 January 2019, the committee will be made up of the following people:

  • Xavier Piesvaux – CEO Delhaize
  • Dieter De Waegeneer – Executive Vice President Operations. This new function combines the responsibilities for both corporately-owned and affiliated stores, distribution centres and supply chain
  • Françoise Burlet – Executive Vice President Commerce. This will see her take responsibility for product, marketing, quality and store concepts
  • Thierry De Vleeschouwer – CIO Belgium & Central and South-Eastern Europe 
  • Siger Spaans – Senior Vice President Finance
  • Els Steen – Senior Vice President Legal Belgium & Central and South Eastern Europe 
  • Illya Van den Borre will be the new Senior Vice President Human Resources & Corporate Affairs


As part of the changes, Delhaize said the following members would be leaving the company:

  • Marc Debussche, who has decided to retire on 31 December 2018 from his role as Executive Vice President for product, marketing, quality and store concepts.
  • Kris Van Strydonck, Senior Vice President Strategy for Network Development & Ecommerce. Kris will leave the company on 30 November 2018


Commenting on the changes, Delhaize’s CEO, Xavier Piesvaux, said, "With these changes Delhaize wishes to speed up the execution of its renewed commercial strategy. We anticipate further evolution in retail and place our customers and employees more than ever at the centre of our organisation.”

Changes come at key time for Ahold Delhaize in Europe

Ahold Delhaize’s H1 results showed the retailer was performing well across Europe, with its operations in Belgium continuing to show a positive upturn, with net sales increasing 3.4% and comparable sales up by 2.7%. Delhaize has also just launched a new store design, which focuses on shoppers’ expectations and needs. Embedding these changes and sustaining growth will be important, especially as speculation builds about Netherlands-based Jumbo’s potential entrance in 2019, and price pressure from Colruyt is maintained.