BRUSSELS, Belgium, March 8, 2012 - Delhaize Group (Euronext Brussels: DELB, NYSE: DEG), the Belgian international food retailer, announced today that Mats Jansson will become Chairman of the Board when current Chairman, Georges Jacobs, retires, as scheduled on May 24, 2012.
“A year ago we invited Mats Jansson to join our board and were immediately impressed by his experience and focused contributions. Today, we are pleased to welcome him to his new role as Chairman of the Board of Directors. I am very glad to pass the torch to Mats whose experience both as a retail executive and at various boards will no doubt make him a very successful chairman of Delhaize Group”, said Georges Jacobs, “I would also like to take this opportunity to thank my colleagues of the board for the great team I have had the privilege to work with. Finally, I would like to commend management for the collaboration made of openness and strong determination I have very much enjoyed during my seven years as chairman. I leave this great company full of confidence in its future growth supported by the key initiatives of its New Game Plan.”
Commenting on his appointment, Mats Jansson said: “I am honored to become the Chairman of the Board of Delhaize Group, a position so successfully held by Georges Jacobs. Since joining the Board in May of 2011, I have had the opportunity to meet a number of dedicated and passionate people. I am convinced of the company's strengths and look forward to working with a great team as we position Delhaize for a successful future.
Pierre-Olivier Beckers, President and CEO of Delhaize Group said: “ Georges Jacobs has been a great chairman, balancing the need for making swift decisions and maintaining the space for open dialogues thereby building a real cohesive board while at the same time acting both as a constructive challenger and a sought after thought partner for management. His experience and wisdom will be missed. We are all looking forward to working with Mats Jansson and drawing upon his significant experience as a top executive to further strengthen and accelerate the development of Delhaize Group.”
Mr. Jansson began his career with ICA, a leading Swedish food retailer, holding positions of increasing responsibility over a period of more than 20 years and serving as President of ICA Detaljhandel and Deputy CEO and Chairman of the Group from 1990 to 1994. He then served as CEO Catena/Billa from 1994 to 1999. From 2000 to 2005, Mr. Jansson held the position of CEO with Axfood, the second biggest food retailer in Sweden. He was President and CEO of SAS, the Scandinavian airline company, from 2006 to 2010. He currently serves as an independent member of Danske Bank.
Delhaize Group also announced the appointment of Ms. Shari Ballard to its board of directors. Ballard, President, International and Enterprise Executive Vice President, Best Buy, will join the board of directors in May 2012. “Shari brings a wealth of retail experience and we are convinced she will have a positive impact on our company," Beckers noted.
Ms. Ballard was named President, International and Enterprise Executive Vice President of Best Buy Co., Inc. in January 2012. Ms. Ballard began her career with Best Buy in 1993 as an assistant store manager, and took on positions of increasing responsibility before being named Executive Vice President of Human Resources and Legal in 2004. Ms. Ballard then served as Executive Vice President, Retail Channel Management of Best Buy, responsible for the Best Buy stores across the United States. In 2010, she assumed the role of Co-President of the Americas and Executive Vice President, leading Best Buy’s operations throughout North America. Ms. Ballard graduated from the University of Michigan - Flint with a Bachelors Degree in Social Work.
The company's shareholders will be asked elect Ms. Ballard to the Delhaize Group Board of Directors at the Ordinary General Meeting scheduled for May 24, 2012. The Board will also propose the renewal of the mandate of Ms. Claire H. Babrowski, Mr. Pierre-Olivier Beckers and Mr. Didier Smits.