Ahold Delhaize announces leadership changes in Europe and Belgium

  • Wouter Kolk, Brand President of Albert Heijn, to be named Chief Operating Officer Europe and Indonesia effective January 1, 2019. Pierre Bouchut to retire in 2018.
  • Effective immediately, Wouter Kolk will join the Executive Committee of Ahold Delhaize as Chief Operating Officer the Netherlands and Belgium, and will be nominated for appointment to the Management Board in 2018.
  • Xavier Piesvaux will be appointed Brand President Delhaize Belgium and Luxembourg effective September 11, 2017, succeeding Denis Knoops.

Zaandam, the Netherlands, September 8, 2017 – Ahold Delhaize today announced that

Pierre Bouchut, member of the Management Board and Chief Operating Officer Europe and Indonesia, will retire next year.

Pierre will step down from the Management Board and Executive Committee as of January 1, 2018 and will remain available as an adviser and for specific initiatives until July 1, 2018.  

Pierre became COO Europe and Indonesia following the merger of Ahold and Delhaize Group last year and served as Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Delhaize Group since 2012.

Dick Boer, CEO Ahold Delhaize: "We thank Pierre for his valuable role and significant contribution throughout the merger and in shaping Ahold Delhaize. He has been the driving force behind our ambitions in Europe, enabling us to deliver on synergies and enabling best practice sharing. Previously, as CFO of Delhaize Group he was instrumental instituting cost discipline and improving the company’s free cash flow as well as its net debt position. We are grateful that Pierre has agreed to advise until the end of June to ensure a smooth handover and wish him all the best for the future. "

Wouter Kolk, Brand President of Albert Heijn, will assume the role of Chief Operating Officer Europe and Indonesia effective January 1, 2019. As a first step, he will join the Executive Committee as Chief Operating Officer the Netherlands and Belgium, effective September 11. He will be proposed for appointment to the Management Board at the 2018 Annual General Meeting of Shareholders. The business segment Central and Southeastern Europe, and Indonesia will continue to report to Pierre until January and will then report to the CEO of Ahold Delhaize on an interim basis, until Wouter takes over in 2019.

Dick Boer, CEO Ahold Delhaize: “We are pleased that Wouter is overseeing the Netherlands and Belgium as from September and is intended to join the Management Board next year. In addition, he will continue to directly manage Albert Heijn. Wouter’s experience of leading Albert Heijn through a period of change will be particularly valuable in making our leading Belgian brand, Delhaize, the favorite supermarket in Belgium again.

Delhaize Belgium and Luxembourg

Ahold Delhaize today also announced Xavier Piesvaux will be appointed as the new Brand President for Delhaize Belgium and Luxembourg effective September 11. He will report to Wouter and is succeeding Denis Knoops after Ahold Delhaize and Denis agreed to separate.

Dick Boer: “We thank Denis for his dedication and valuable contribution throughout 25 years, serving the company in a variety of commercial, operational, strategic, and real estate roles across Belgium, the United States, and Asia. Denis has led Delhaize during the last three years keeping it true to its strong 150-year heritage that has made it a leading brand in Belgium and Luxembourg. We wish him all the best for the future”.

Xavier most recently was Senior Vice President for Walmart East Canada. Prior to that, he served as Brand President of Ahold Delhaize’s Mega Image brand in Romania. During his tenure, he was instrumental in the development of the brand, helping Mega Image grow from 14 stores in 2006 to almost 500 when he left in 2015.

 

See below for the press release of Delhaize

 

Xavier Piesvaux new CEO Delhaize

Brussels, September 8, 2017-- Delhaize is announcing that Xavier Piesvaux will be appointed as its CEO, effective September 11, 2017. He will succeed Denis Knoops. Delhaize and Denis Knoops have agreed to separate. Denis will remain available in the coming weeks to ensure a smooth transition.

Xavier Piesvaux has 27 years of experience in the retail sector. Most recently he was Senior Vice President for Walmart East Canada. Prior to that, he served as CEO of Ahold Delhaize brand Mega Image in Romania. During his tenure, he was instrumental in the development of the brand, helping Mega Image grow from 14 stores in 2006 to almost 500 when he left in 2015.

In Xavier, we have found the right successor to make Delhaize the favorite supermarket in Belgium and Luxemburg again. Delhaize remains Ahold Delhaize’s leading brand in Belgium with more than 700 stores. Xavier will report to Wouter Kolk, who will join the Ahold Delhaize Executive Committee as Chief Operating Officer (COO) the Netherlands and Belgium. As of January 1, 2019 Wouter will assume the role of COO Europe and Indonesia following the retirement of Pierre Bouchut in 2018.

Xavier Piesvaux said: “I look forward to serving our more than 5 million customers even better, together with more than 30,000 Delhaize associates and our network of affiliates.”

Delhaize and Denis Knoops have decided to separate.  He will remain available the coming weeks to ensure a smooth transition. Denis  has worked for Ahold Delhaize for 25 years, serving the company in a variety of important roles. He was involved with the expansion and commercial development of the Group in Belgium, the United States, and Asia. During the past three years, he was the CEO of Delhaize. He ensured the company remained true to the heritage for which Delhaize has been known for 150 years: healthy and high quality products, a large assortment, fresh and local products and a pleasant shopping experience. Delhaize wishes to thank Denis for his years of passion, dedication and contributions to this company. 

Denis Knoops said: “In the past 25 years, I gave my heart and soul for this beautiful company. I wish Delhaize, its associates, and the new CEO Xavier Piesvaux all the best for the future.”

 

Cautionary notice

This press release includes forward-looking statements, which do not refer to historical facts but refer to expectations based on management's current views and assumptions and involve known and unknown risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results, performance or events to differ materially from those included in such statements. Words such as to be, will, will be, ensure, continue to, is overseeing, is intended to, will continue to or other similar words or expressions are typically used to identify forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements are subject to risks, uncertainties and other factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from future results expressed or implied by the forward-looking statements. Many of these risks and uncertainties relate to factors that are beyond Ahold Delhaize's ability to control or estimate precisely, such as discussed in Ahold Delhaize's public filings and other disclosures. Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date of this press release. Koninklijke Ahold Delhaize N.V. does not assume any obligation to update any public information or forward-looking statements in this release to reflect subsequent events or circumstances, except as may be required by law. Koninklijke Ahold Delhaize N.V. also presents itself under the name of "Royal Ahold Delhaize" or simply "Ahold Delhaize".

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