Ahold Delhaize has made the following leadership changes:
Pierre Bouchut, member of the management board and COO Europe and Indonesia, will retire next year. He will step down from the management board and executive committee as of Jan. 1, 2018, but will remain available as an adviser and for specific initiatives until July 1. Bouchut was named to his current role following the 2016 Ahold-Delhaize merger, and before that was EVP and CFO of Delhaize Group from 2012.
Wouter Kolk, brand president of Albert Heijn, the largest Dutch supermarket chain, will succeed Bouchut as COO Europe and Indonesia, effective Jan. 1, 2019. As a first step, he will join the executive committee as COO The Netherlands and Belgium, effective Sept. 11. He will then 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 Bouchut until January, and will then report to the CEO of Ahold Delhaize on an interim basis, until Kolk takes over in 2019.
Additionally, Delhaize Belgium and Luxembourg Ahold Delhaize have appointed Xavier Piesvaux to be the new brand president for Delhaize Belgium and Luxembourg. Piesvaux, who succeeds Denis Knoops in the role and will report to Kolk, was most recently SVP for Walmart East Canada. Before that, he was brand president of Ahold Delhaize’s Mega Image brand in Romania, during which time he helped the banner grow from 14 stores in 2006 to nearly 500 locations when he left in 2015. Knoops, who is leaving the company after 25 years, will remain available over the next few weeks to ensure a smooth transition.
Of Bouchut, Dick Boer, CEO Zandaam, Netherlands-based Ahold Delhaize, noted: “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 [in] instituting cost discipline and improving the company’s free cash flow as well as its net debt position.”
Of Kolk, who will continue to directly manage Albert Heijn, Boer said: “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.”
Regarding Piesvaux’s appointment, the company similarly observed, “In Xavier, we have found the right successor to make Delhaize the favorite supermarket in Belgium and Luxemburg again.”