Amsterdam, the Netherlands – The Ahold Corporate Executive Board today expressed its sadness at the death of Albert Heijn, former president of the Corporate Executive Board and member of the Supervisory Board of Ahold.
Albert Heijn died peacefully on January 13, at Pudleston Court, his home in the United Kingdom. He was 83 years old.
The grandson of Albert Heijn who founded the Albert Heijn supermarket business in 1887, Albert was born in Zaandam, the Netherlands, in 1927. He joined the company in 1949, rose quickly through the ranks, and was appointed President of the Executive Board in 1962. Together with his brother Gerrit-Jan (1931-1987), Albert led the transformation of the company from a Dutch supermarket chain into a major international food retailing group. He created a grocery empire on the deceptively simple premise that doing what is right for the business starts with doing what is right for the customer. Following his retirement in 1989, he remained involved in Ahold, the holding company created in 1973, as a member of the Supervisory Board until 1997.
Throughout his career, Albert was a driving force in developing the Dutch and international food retail industries. He introduced the first full-service grocery stores in the Netherlands and brought a much wider selection of products to the Dutch public than had been seen before. Perhaps one of the most significant contributions he made to the global food retail industry was his role in the establishment of a uniform barcode that remains the global standard today.
John Rishton, CEO of Ahold, said today, "Albert Heijn was a remarkable man. He was a spirited entrepreneur whose vision has helped shape the global food industry. He was a warm and charismatic leader who was passionate about people - both those who worked for the company and all who shopped at our stores. My thoughts, and those of my colleagues on the Corporate Executive Board, are with his wife Monique and their family.”