Ahold Delhaize has announced today (5 April) that Dick Boer will step down as CEO as of 1 July 2018 and retire from the company, with Frans Muller in line to replace him.
"We thank Dick for his leadership and dedication throughout his 20-year career at Ahold Delhaize and Ahold," said Mats Jansson, chairman of the supervisory board. "Dick's accomplishments include the successful repositioning of Albert Heijn to market leadership, strategically building Ahold's portfolio into brands with number one and two positions in the markets they serve, and introducing digital, eCommerce and sustainability as integrated parts of the business.
"Under Dick's leadership, two leading food retailers were brought together in an historic merger," Jansson continued. "With this merger now being substantially completed, Ahold Delhaize is now ready to move into its next phase."
Boer, who will work closely with Muller to ensure a smooth transition before taking up an advisory position, said it has been a privilege to lead Ahold Delhaize and work with so many talented colleagues, serving customers around the globe.
"Today, our company is well-positioned for long-term growth, creating a natural moment for me to step down," he outlined. "I am proud of what we achieved together and it is my absolute pleasure to be handing the helm to Frans, who 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."
Jansson highlighted the fact that Muller had been instrumental in bringing together Ahold and Delhaize Group.
"Frans brings a wealth of retail experience and a deep knowledge of our company, brands and US and European markets, making him the natural choice as next CEO," he said. "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."
Muller said he was honoured to be given the opportunity to lead the company.
"Our success will be based upon delivering a great and seamless shopping experience for our customers, both in stores and online," he emphasised. "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 neighbour - every day."
Meanwhile, the retailer has also revealed that Jansson will retire from the supervisory board after the AGM on 11 April, with Jan Hommen appointed chairman of the supervisory board as of the same date.