Ahold Streamlines Businesses; Van Der Laan Tapped to Head Albert Heijn

Ahold has made changes in its European and U.S. businesses that it says will “create a strong platform for future growth.”

The reorganization in both businesses addresses the responsibility for running operations, supporting the operations, and business development. According to Ahold, the overhaul will help the company focus more on local customer needs, as well as providing efficient and effective support functions, and a more aggressive take on business development. Another advantage of the changes is that they will ease the process by which Ahold integrates acquisitions as it follows its strategy of profitable growth, the company noted

Dick Boer, COO of Ahold Europe, a member of the Corporate Executive Board and CEO of Ahold Netherlands, will still head all European activities, and has named Sander van der Laan to be Albert Heijn’s new general manager, necessitating the return of the current Giant-Carlisle CEO to the Netherlands to begin his new job in January 2010. Progressive Grocer recently ran a profile of van der Laan in his role as head of Giant-Carlisle, which can be read by clicking here. [[http://www.progressivegrocer.com/progressivegrocer/content_display/esearch/e3i9f25616ad2abf49d08db94d01cfbc701]].

Lawrence Benjamin, COO of Ahold USA and a member of the Corporate Executive Board, will continue to handle all U.S. operations, and has appointed Carl Schlicker CEO of four newly reorganized U.S. Divisions: Stop & Shop New England, Stop & Shop Metro New York, Giant-Landover and Giant-Carlisle.

“The changes … build a strong platform for future growth. We are further simplifying and streamlining our businesses and will be able to provide even greater focus on our customers,” said John Rishton, CEO of the Amsterdam-based retail conglomerate. “The changes will also allow Dick Boer and Larry Benjamin to devote more time to growth opportunities in existing and new markets.”
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