Delhaize America Hires Fast Food Exec for CEO Post

Delhaize Group has recruited former Wendy’s/Arby’s CEO Roland Smith as president and CEO of Delhaize America and executive vice president of Delhaize Group, effective Oct. 15.

Smith will succeed Ronald C. Hodge who is retiring later this year. Hodge has been with the Belgian international food retailer for 33 years and will remain with Delhaize America in an advisory role during the transition.

Smith, 57, most recently served as president and CEO of The Wendy’s Company and, prior to that, as president and CEO of Wendy's / Arby's Group Inc. Smith is currently a director of The Wendy’s Company and chairman of the board of directors for Carmike Cinemas Inc., a national trustee of the Boys & Girls Clubs of America, a national executive board member of the Boy Scouts of America and a member of the World Presidents' Organization International.

“We are delighted that Roland will become the next CEO of Delhaize America and look forward to welcoming him to our company,” said Pierre-Olivier Beckers, president and CEO of Delhaize Group. “He is a seasoned leader with a proven track record of managing large consumer businesses, re-energizing brands and driving top and bottom-line growth. We are confident his background and experience will serve to strengthen and accelerate the ongoing transformation of our business in the U.S.”

Hodge will retire after 33 years in various senior leadership roles with Delhaize Group. Prior to his current role, he served as CEO of Delhaize America Operations and as executive vice president and CEO of Hannaford. He joined Hannaford in 1980 and was promoted through a number of increasingly senior roles, ultimately becoming president of Hannaford in December 2000 and CEO in 2001.

“During his career, Ron has made countless contributions to our company’s growth and has been instrumental in a number of our achievements, including the creation of Delhaize America, which is now an approximately $20 billion revenue business with roughly 1,600 stores in 18 states,” Beckers said.

Delhaize America operates supermarkets under the Food Lion, Hannaford and Sweetbay banners.

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