Ahold Delhaize: change of CEO in July 2018

Date : 05 April 2018

Ahold Delhaize has announced it will appoint a new CEO and a new Chairman of the Supervisory Board. Despite the changes at the top of the retailer, it is expected that its medium-term strategy will remain the same, ensuring continuity for its operations and for suppliers.

Dick Boer to step down as CEO

Ahold Delhaize’s CEO, Dick Boer, has held the position since July 2016, when Ahold and Delhaize completed their merger. Boer will officially step down on 1 July 2018, remaining available as an advisor until the middle of 2019. He will then leave the company and retire. Before the merger of Ahold and Delhaize, Boer served as Ahold’s CEO from 2011.

Frans Muller to take over as CEO

Succeeding him will be Frans Muller, Ahold Delhaize’s deputy CEO and group chief integration officer. Muller, before taking on this role, was president and CEO of Delhaize. He has held his current position since the merger in 2016 and held his previous position since 2011. Muller and Boer will work closely together to ensure a smooth transition for the company.

New Chairman of the Supervisory Board

As part of the same announcement, Ahold Delhaize said Mats Jansson would retire as chairman on 11 April 2018. He has held the position since the merger, prior to this serving as Delhaize’s chairman. Jansson will be succeeded by Jan Hommen, currently the board’s vice chairman, while Hommen will be replaced as vice chairman by Bill McEwan.

Management changes unlikely to affect medium term strategy

Announcing the changes, Ahold Delhaize noted that with the group now integrated, the new appointments will continue to build on the progress and development that has occurred since the two retailers’ merger. As a result, the change is expected to be seamless, with Ahold Delhaize unlikely to change its medium-term strategy, at least, as a result.

Instead, it is expected that under Muller the company will continue to focus on the areas set out under its ‘Better Together’ strategy:

  • Enhancing its supermarket: making stores more personal for shoppers by putting the focus on the benefits of the in-store environment through support for its staff and franchisees to engender personal connections with shoppers. This will be supported by digital developments;
  • Making shoppers’ visits more convenient: in terms of channel presence, store design, digitalisation programmes and product ranges;
  • Growing its online skill and scale globally: in Europe, with AH.nl, Bol.com and Delhaize online, and the US, through Peapod, the retailer has a long standing online presence and will continue investing in the channel to remain competitive. Adding new fulfilment options and making the service quicker is a key area of investment;
  • Buying better: through the further integration of buying teams in the US, exporting of private label ranges across borders to maximise their potential and membership of Coopernic and AMS buying alliances;
  • Providing shoppers with value: through investing savings made elsewhere in its operations back into prices and by continually investing and improving its private label ranges, especially with fresh and healthy products.

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