Obituary: Albert Heijn

AMSTERDAM — Albert Heijn, the former president of Ahold and grandson of the founder of the Dutch supermarket chain that bears his name, died Jan. 13 at age 83

AMSTERDAM — Albert Heijn, the former president of Ahold [3] and grandson of the founder of the Dutch supermarket chain that bears his name, died Jan. 13 at age 83, Ahold said. Heijn, along with his brother Gerrit-Jan, led the transformation of Ahold from a small supermarket chain to a major international retailing group.

“He created a grocery empire on the deceptively simple premise that doing what is right for the business starts with doing what is right for the customer,” Ahold said in a statement.

Among his contributions to the global food industry was his role in the establishment of a uniform bar code. Following his retirement in 1989, he remained involved in Ahold, the holding company created in 1973, as a member of the supervisory board until 1997.

“Albert Heijn was a remarkable man. He was a spirited entrepreneur whose vision has helped shape the global food industry. He was a warm and charismatic leader who was passionate about people — both those who worked for the company and all who shopped at our stores,” John Rishton, Ahold's chief executive officer, said in a statement.