Newlands Campbell, Wise Spearhead Changes At Delhaize America

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Roland Smith, new Delhaize America (DA) CEO, didn’t wait long before deciding to make some major changes at the Salisbury, NC retail organization. On December 6, the big retailer announced that Beth Newlands Campbell has been named president of the company’s Food Lion unit, replacing Cathy Green Burns, who has left the company. Newlands Campbell was most recently president of DA’s Hannaford unit based in Scarborough, ME. She will now have responsibility for 1,127 Food Lion stores in 10 states, 73 Harveys units in Florida, Georgia and South Carolina and 11 Reid’s stores in South Carolina. Additionally, Brad Wise, former senior VP-human resources for Delhaize America, was named president of Hannaford and Sweetbay. Mark Doiron, veteran Hannaford executive, who since 2010 had served as chief supply chain officer for DA, has left the firm.

Smith, the former Wendy’s and Arby’s CEO who took the helm at DA in October after the retirement of Ron Hodge,  clearly has many challenges to tackle as the company has struggled with earnings and identical store sales, particularly at its large Food Lion unit, which comprises about 65 percent of Delhaize America’s sales.

The changes were first revealed in an internal memo sent by Smith. He noted that he was streamlining the organization to “provide clarity of responsibility and accountability for the newly formed Delhaize America Leadership Team (DALT).”

The memo also stated that “although it’s early in my tenure, I have had hundreds of significant and substantial conversations and interactions with trusted leaders across the organization. I mention this only to say that these decisions and moves were made with a great deal of input.” Smith writes that “through hours of one-on-one conversations, pages of written correspondence, and informal exchanges, I have explored both thoroughly and quickly what can be done to realize the potential of our business.”

Delhaize America is also creating a temporary strategic task force that which will be responsible for developing a Delhaize America vision and strategy, clearly defining key critical priorities for 2013 and beyond, establishing operating principles and building the right structure throughout the organization to ensure and simplify accountability.

“The full composition of the strategic task force will be announced in the coming weeks,” Smith stated in his memo. However it is important to note at this time that Robert Canipe, who has served as Delhaize America CFO since 2010, has accepted a role with this group.”

Smith also says that a search has begun for an executive to for the “chief people officer” position at Delhaize America.

In speaking of Green Burns, Smith stated: “Cathy has been a tireless and trusted Delhaize America associate for nearly 30 years, rising from a bagger in Bangor, ME, to the top leadership position of our largest banner. Along the way, she held senior leadership positions in merchandising, distribution and operations at both Hannaford and Food Lion before becoming chief operating officer at Food Lion from 2005 to 2010. She became the president of Food Lion in 2010. Cathy is known for her graceful, caring manner and broad understanding of the grocery industry. I appreciate her vast contributions to the organization and the lasting relationships she has built throughout her career.”

His comments about Doiron were: “Mark has dedicated his career to building Delhaize America into a world-class organization after starting with Hannaford in 1985. After serving as a category manager, Mark took on advanced leadership roles throughout Merchandising, achieving the position of executive VP, Hannaford merchandising, distribution and IT in 2008. Mark has served Delhaize America as chief supply chain officer since 2010. Mark is known for his ability to understand large systems and build teams to support complex processes. His contributions across many years and many departments within the organization are appreciated.”