Ahold Delhaize announced earlier this month that Dick Boer will step down as CEO as of July 1, 2018 and retire from the company. Deputy chief executive Frans Muller has been appointed to replace Boer as the chief executive officer when Boer retires.
Mats Jansson, outgoing chairman of the supervisory board, said: “We thank Dick for his leadership and dedication throughout his 20-year career at Ahold Delhaize and Ahold. Dick’s accomplishments include the successful repositioning of Albert Heijn to market leadership, strategically building Ahold’s portfolio into brands with number one and two positions in the markets they serve, and introducing digital, eCommerce and sustainability as integrated parts of the business. Dick has role-modelled the values of our Better Together strategy, with his passion for retail, customers, associates and health. Under Dick’s leadership, two leading food retailers were brought together in an historic merger. With this merger now being substantially completed, Ahold Delhaize is now ready to move into its next phase.”
Jansson added: “Together with Dick, Frans was instrumental in bringing together Ahold and Delhaize Group. During the past two years he has been driving the integration process in close collaboration with our great local brands and support offices. Frans brings a wealth of retail experience and a deep knowledge of our company, brands and U.S. and European markets, making him the natural choice as next CEO. Frans is committed to the brand-centric operating model which is key to our strategy and has the customer at its core. We are confident that Frans is the right person to lead the company into its next phase.”
Muller has more than 20 years of experience in retail and has served not only as deputy CEO but has been with international retailer’s chief integration officer of Ahold Delhaize since July 2016 when Ahold and Delhaize completed their merger announced a year earlier. Muller also led Delhaize America on an interim basis from October 2016 until January 2018. Prior to the merger between Ahold and Delhaize, he served as president and CEO of the Delhaize Group from 2013. Before joining the Delhaize Group, he served on the management board of German retailer Metro AG for seven years and was CEO of Metro Cash & Carry for five years.
Muller said, “I’m honored to be given the opportunity to lead this company with such powerful brands, incredible talent and long-term growth potential – a combination that sets us apart globally. Our success will be based upon delivering a great and seamless shopping experience for our customers, both in stores and online. Building on the solid foundations established under Dick’s leadership, we will continue to drive innovation and growth in stores and online as we execute our strategy and create value for all our stakeholders. My focus will be on delivering our promises to be a better place to shop, better place to work and better neighbor – every day.”
Boer commented, “It has been a privilege to lead Ahold Delhaize and to work with so many talented colleagues, serving customers around the globe. Today, our company is well-positioned for long-term growth, creating a natural moment for me to step down. I am proud of what we achieved together and it is my absolute pleasure to be handing the helm to Frans, who I have come to know as a talented leader. I wish him, the executive team and everyone at the company all the best for the future.”
Boer will remain available as advisor to the company until mid-2019.
Ahold Delhaize also announced that Mats Jansson retired from the supervisory board after the AGM (annual meeting) on April 11, 2018. Jan Hommen has been appointed chairman of the supervisory board as of the same date. Supervisory board members Johnny Thijs and Patrick De Maeseneire have also stepped down from the supervisory board.
Jansson has been chairman of the supervisory board since the merger between Ahold and Delhaize Group in July 2016. Prior to that, he served as chairman of the board of directors of the Delhaize Group.
Jansson stated “I leave Ahold Delhaize knowing that the company is well positioned for the future. I thank my colleagues in the supervisory board and especially Jan Hommen, with whom I have had the privilege of working closely, both before and after completing the merger of two leading food retail companies. It makes me proud to see what the teams at Ahold Delhaize have accomplished in two years, with the integration fully on track. For me this proves that we truly are ‘Better Together.’ I also thank Johnny Thijs and Patrick De Maeseneire for their valuable contributions during their terms at Ahold Delhaize and Delhaize Group.”
Hommen has been vice chairman of the supervisory board since July 2016. Prior to the merger, Hommen served as chairman of Ahold’s supervisory board since 2013.
Hommen stated, “The leadership of Mats has been instrumental in successfully bringing Ahold and Delhaize Group together and delivering on our promises to our stakeholders. As a supervisory board, we are grateful for his commitment and strong support to the leadership team in delivering a successful integration. I look forward to working with my colleagues in the board and with the new CEO Frans Muller and his team.”
The supervisory board has appointed Bill McEwan as vice chairman, succeeding Hommen.