While Delhaize America has shifted to a modified centralization plan over the past two years, Smith clearly is considering further consolidation.
He noted: “I want to share with you my thinking on the question of whether we consolidate and/or relocate our corporate support services functions (formerly known as shared services). After a great deal of consideration regarding the future of our business, I have decided that centralizing these functions into one location is not a top priority at this time. That said, I and a vast majority of the leaders with whom I’ve spoken continue to believe that a central location for corporate support services is critical and necessary to strengthening our organization. However, there needs to be a demonstrable benefit to our business and our bottom line before implementing plans to consolidate corporate support services. Also, we need to stabilize our business and complete our reorganization plans before causing the significant disruption for associates that moving would entail and spending the millions of dollars necessary to facilitate such a major move. We will begin exploratory analysis about consolidating support services in late 2013 or early 2014. However, for the purposes of meeting our immediate needs, my intent is to relocate my team of direct reports and a select group of their key leaders to North Carolina. One notable exception is Brad Wise, who will lead Hannaford and Sweetbay from Maine.”
“Over the next few weeks, my new team and I will focus on refining our business strategies and building the right structures to refocus, execute, and succeed. Similar to my personal entry into the organization, we intend to move quickly in making decisions and setting the right direction for Delhaize America so we can take action to improve our position in the marketplace. In that spirit, we are committed to communicating the next level of structural changes within the first six weeks of 2013,” Smith concluded. “I appreciate that this is a lot of complex and potentially emotional information to process. While it represents significant change for the organization, this work raises my confidence in the future of Delhaize America. I believe that this structure, team of talented leaders, and focus on clear priorities represents a solid foundation for future success. However, I firmly believe the success of Delhaize America will ultimately be driven by your continued hard work and commitment to excellence.”
Green Burns was at the forefront of Food Lion’s “rebranding” program which began in 2011. The repositioning effort was designed to upgrade Food Lion’s store base while also expanding perishables departments and offering a new private label brand to its consumers. About 75 percent of the stores have been upgraded to date with the remaining units (including those in theBaltimore-Washington-EasternShorearea) to be remodeled next year.
Other personnel changes in the shakeup include the following: Mike Vail, the former president of Delhaize’s Tampa, FL-based Sweetbay chain, was named chief supply chain officer for Delhaize America; Greg Amoroso, formerly senior VP for the business service center and sustainability, was named chief financial officer of Delhaize America; and David Criscione will assume the role of chief strategy and development officer, Delhaize America. He most recently, he has was senior VP-strategy, marketing and business development, at Hannaford.
Meg Ham will remain president of Bottom Dollar Food; Linn Evans will remain senior VP-legal and government affairs for Delhaize America; and Deborah Dixson will remain chief information officer for Delhaize America.
Delhaize America, a unit of Brussels based Delhaize Group, has struggled with its bottom line and saw its 2011 profits and ID revenue drop. The stock is down 34 percent for the year, closing on December 6 at $37.17 per share.