Beckers to Retire From Delhaize Group

Pierre-Olivier Beckers, president and CEO of Brussels-based international food retailer Delhaize Group, plans to retire from his executive role by the end of the year, but will remain with the company as a company director.

Under Delhaize’s succession plan, Beckers (right) will continue in his post until a new CEO is appointed. He will remain on the board of directors, in a nonexecutive capacity, after retiring as CEO.

Beckers joined Delhaize in 1983, has been a director of the company since 1995, and became president and CEO in January 1999. In nearly 15 years as CEO, he has led the company through a period of rapid change in the global food retail environment.

Under Beckers’ leadership, Delhaize moved from a Belgian company with an international presence to an integrated group sharing the same vision and values. Since 1999, the number of stores has grown from 1,904 to 3,411 across 10 countries on three continents, and revenues rose from €12.9 billion (US $17 billion) to €22.6 billion (US $29.7 billion). More recently, Delhaize has ramped up its growth profile, with 30.7 percent of its stores now located in growth markets, generating 14 percent of the group’s revenues, versus less than 5 percent when Beckers took the helm.

The board of directors is currently conducting a search for a successor and will consider both internal and external candidates, with the aim of facilitating a smooth, orderly transition of leadership by the end of 2013.

“Pierre-Olivier Beckers has worked for Delhaize for 30 years with tireless energy and absolute passion, displaying very strong values and great respect for people,” noted Mats Jansson, chairman of the board. “As shown by our recent results, business performance continues to strengthen following our initiatives over recent years. This positions the company well for the future and provides a great platform for his successor.”

“While serving this company and working with the board of directors, great colleagues and great teams has been the most rewarding job I can imagine, the board of directors and I agree that the moment is right to put in place a successor who will lead the group and its evolution into the future,” said Beckers. “Until then I remain fully committed to leading and supporting the company and its 158,000 associates.”

Salisbury, N.C.-based Delhaize America’s banners include Food Lion, Hannaford, Sweetbay Supermarket and Bottom Dollar Food.

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