Dick Boer to Step Down as Ahold Delhaize CEO, Frans Muller to Assume Role
ZAANDAM, THE NETHERLANDS - More changes are in store for dynamic retailer Ahold Delhaize; shortly after the merger of the company’s constituent parts, Ahold Delhaize has announced that, effective July 1, 2018, Dick Boer will step down as CEO of the company—with Frans Muller to assume the role of CEO. The company also announced a new Chairman of its Supervisory Board after Mats Jansson stepped down from the position.
“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,” said Muller, in a press release. “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.”
Muller brings more than 20 years of experience in retail to his new role. The executive has served as Deputy CEO and Chief Integration Officer of Ahold Delhaize since July 24, 2016 and also led Delhaize America on an interim basis from October 2016 until January 2018.
Prior to the merger between Ahold and Delhaize, Muller served as President and CEO of Delhaize Group—beginning in 2013. Before joining 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.
“It has been a privilege to lead Ahold Delhaize and to work with so many talented colleagues, serving customers around the globe,” noted Outgoing CEO Dick Boer. “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.”
The company’s Chairman continued, praising Boer’s leadership and noting Muller’s suitability for the position. The company noted that Boer will work closely with Muller to ensure a smooth transition on July 1, 2018, and he will remain available as advisor to the Company until mid 2019.
“We thank Dick for his leadership and dedication throughout his 20-year career at Ahold Delhaize and Ahold,” noted Mats Jansson, current Chairman of Ahold Delhaize’s Supervisory Board, in a press release. “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-modeled 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 also noted, in a separate press release, that he would retire from the company's Supervisory Board after the AGM on April 11, 2018, to be replaced by Vice Chairman Jan Hommen. Johnny Thijs and Patrick De Maeseneire will also step down after having indicated that they are unable to continue the membership of the Supervisory Board with their other commitments.
"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," added Jansson. "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. Between 2003 and 2007, he was Vice Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Ahold and Chairman of the Audit Committee. Hommen has an executive background as Vice Chairman of the board of management at Royal Philips Electronics and as CEO of ING Group and of KPMG the Netherlands.
"The leadership of Mats has been instrumental in successfully bringing Ahold and Delhaize Group together and delivering on our promises to our stakeholders,” added Hommen. "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."
Jansson noted that the company’s leadership team would remain committed to growing its recently-merged operations and continuing to evolve as a leading retailer in the United States and abroad.
“Together with Dick, Frans was instrumental in bringing together Ahold and Delhaize Group," continued Jansson. “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.”
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