Zaandam, the Netherlands – Ahold today announces organizational changes in its European business.
Following the formation of Ahold’s Executive Committee in September 2013, Ahold Europe as a business division will no longer exist. The company will refocus its current Ahold Europe operations and its leadership on building the Albert Heijn business in the Netherlands and adjacent markets through its various formats and channels.
Executive Committee member Sander van der Laan will continue to lead Albert Heijn, and report to CEO Dick Boer. The company’s Czech Republic business will report directly to CEO Dick Boer. Bol.com will continue to report to Executive Committee Member and Chief Commercial Officer Hanneke Faber and remains an important area of growth for Ahold.
Dick Boer, CEO Ahold, said: “The food retail industry continues to evolve rapidly and we see significant opportunities for growth to cater for the changes in the way that our customers shop. Today’s decision will bring management closer to running the business. By further strengthening the Albert Heijn brand in both the Netherlands as well as neighboring markets, combined with a growing omni-channel offering via Albert Heijn online, Albert Heijn pick-up points, and Albert Heijn to go, we will be better positioned to meet customer needs and accelerate future growth.”
Ahold will continue to pursue other important areas of growth within Europe such as further strengthening the market position of Albert in the Czech Republic, the roll-out of Albert Heijn and bol.com in Belgium, and Etos and Gall & Gall in the Netherlands.
At the same time, Ahold is continuing to look for ways to streamline and simplify the organization’s support functions across the company, as part of its Simplicity program. This will ensure that the company can maintain and strengthen its successful market positions and continually reinvest resources in its customer proposition and organizational capabilities.
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. These forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to, statements as to refocus of Ahold Europe operations, opportunities for growth, streamlining and simplification of the organization's support services, customer proposition and organizational capabilities. 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’s ability to control or estimate precisely, such as the effect of general economic or political conditions, fluctuations in exchange rates or interest rates, increases or changes in competition, Ahold’s ability to implement and complete successfully its plans and strategies, the benefits from and resources generated by Ahold’s plans and strategies being less than or different from those anticipated, changes in Ahold’s liquidity needs, the actions of competitors and third parties and other factors discussed in Ahold’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. Ahold does not assume any obligation to update any public information or forward-looking statements in this press release to reflect subsequent events or circumstances, except as may be required by applicable laws. Outside the Netherlands, Koninklijke Ahold N.V., being its registered name, presents itself under the name of “Royal Ahold” or simply “Ahold”.