Dick Boer is retiring as chief executive officer of Ahold Delhaize and will be succeeded by deputy CEO and chief integration officer Frans Muller.
The Zaandam, Netherlands-based supermarket company said Thursday that Muller will take the CEO reins on July 1. Plans call for Boer to serve as an adviser to the company until mid-2019.
"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,” Muller said in a statement. “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."
Muller, who has more than 20 years of experience in the retail arena, has served in his current post at Ahold Delhaize since July 2016, when Royal Ahold and Delhaize Group closed their $29 billion merger deal. He also led Delhaize America on an interim basis from October 2016 to January 2018.
Before the merger, he was president and CEO of Delhaize Group since 2013. And prior to joining Delhaize Group, he served on the management board of German retailer Metro AG for seven years and was CEO of Metro Cash & Carry for five years.
"Together with Dick, Frans was instrumental in bringing together Ahold and Delhaize Group,” said Mats Jansson, chairman of Ahold Delhaize’s supervisory board. “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."
Boer has served as CEO of Ahold Delhaize since July 2016. Before that, he had been CEO of Ahold since March 2011. He joined Ahold in 1998 as CEO of Ahold Czech Republic.
"It has been a privilege to lead Ahold Delhaize and to 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,” Boer said. “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."
Ahold Delhaize said Boer will work closely with Muller to ensure a smooth transition.
"We thank Dick for his leadership and dedication throughout his 20-year career at Ahold Delhaize and Ahold,” Jansson added. “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, e-commerce 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."
In the United States, Ahold Delhaize’s grocery chains include Stop & Shop, Giant, Martin’s Food Market, Food Lion and Hannaford. The company in early December created a parent company for its U.S. food retail operations called Ahold Delhaize USA, which oversees all of the U.S. store banners and Peapod plus Retail Business Services (RBS), a U.S. shared-services company providing support to the brands.