Dick Boer will retire as CEO of Zaandam, Netherlands-based retail conglomerate Ahold Delhaize on July 1, whereupon Frans Muller will succeed him in that role, according to the company.
“We thank Dick for his leadership and dedication throughout his 20-year career at Ahold Delhaize and Ahold,” said Mats Jansson, chairman of the company’s supervisory board, who himself is stepping down on April 11, to be succeeded by Vice Chairman Jan Hommen. “Dick’s accomplishments include the successful repositioning of Albert Heijn to market leadership, strategically building Ahold’s portfolio into brands with No. 1 and 2 positions in the markets they serve, and introducing digital, ecommerce and sustainability as integrated parts of the business. Dick has role-modeled the values of our Better Together strategy, with his passion for retail, customers, associates and health. Under Dick’s leadership, two leading food retailers were brought together in an historic merger. With this merger now being substantially completed, Ahold Delhaize is now ready to move into its next phase.”
Of Muller, Jansson noted: “Together with Dick, Frans was instrumental in bringing together Ahold and Delhaize Group. During the past two years, he has been driving the integration process in close collaboration with our great local brands and support offices. Frans brings a wealth of retail experience and a deep knowledge of our company, brands, and U.S. and European markets, making him the natural choice as next CEO. Frans is committed to the brand-centric operating model which is key to our strategy and has the customer at its core. We are confident that Frans is the right person to lead the company into its next phase.”
Bringing more than two decades of experience in retail to his new role, Muller has been Ahold Delhaize’s deputy CEO and chief integration officer since July 2016, when the merger of Ahold and Delhaize was completed. He also helmed Delhaize America on an interim basis from October 2016 to January 2018. Before the Ahold-Delhaize merger, Muller was president and CEO of Delhaize Group from 2013. Prior to joining Delhaize Group, he sat on the management board of German retailer Metro AG for seven years and was CEO of Metro Cash & Carry for five years.
“I’m honored to be given the opportunity to lead this company with such powerful brands, incredible talent and long-term growth potential – a combination that sets us apart globally,” observed Muller. “Our success will be based upon delivering a great and seamless shopping experience for our customers, both in stores and online. Building on the solid foundations established under Dick’s leadership, we will continue to drive innovation and growth in stores and online as we execute our strategy and create value for all our stakeholders. My focus will be on delivering our promises to be a better place to shop, better place to work and better neighbor – every day.”
“It has been a privilege to lead Ahold Delhaize and to work with so many talented colleagues, serving customers around the globe,” said Boer. “Today, our company is well positioned for long-term growth, creating a natural moment for me to step down. I am proud of what we achieved together and it is my absolute pleasure to be handing the helm to Frans, whom I have come to know as a talented leader. I wish him, the executive team and everyone at the company all the best for the future."
The two executives will work together to ensure a smooth transition, and Boer will remain available as an adviser to the company until mid-2019.