CHANTILLY, Va. -- Ahold USA here, a subsidiary of Netherlands-based Ahold, said last week it has named the executive team at its Quincy, Mass.-based Stop & Shop Supermarkets subsidiary, headed by Stop & Shop's president and chief executive officer Marc Smith, to direct the combined operations of Stop & Shop and Giant Food, Landover, Md.
The company also said Dick Baird, currently Giant president and CEO, will retire in July, and several of his top executives will remain with the company in their current positions only until the end of the year.
Industry analysts told SN the move shows that the integrated operation, which will be based in Quincy, will probably seek to follow the Stop & Shop model more closely than that of Giant.
"Both Stop & Shop and Giant should be able to benefit from each other's excellence in certain fields, but probably the Giant format will move somewhat closer to the Stop & Shop way of working," said Patrick Roquas, an analyst with Kempen & Co., Amsterdam.
Jens Jantzen, a London-based analyst with Bear Stearns, New York, offered a similar view. "I think the example of the strong performance at Stop & Shop is something Ahold wants to put into Giant-Landover," he said. "Giant is not a bad company, but sadly, they have lost the ball.
"They need to get their costs further under control. They need to have a slight change in their marketing process."
The company said Smith will report directly to Bill Grize, president and CEO, Ahold USA. Reporting directly to Smith will be a full roster of his current Stop & Shop executives, including Jose Alvarez, senior vice president of supply chain; Maureen McGurl, executive vice president of human resources; Barry Berman, executive vice president of sales and marketing; Bill Holmes, executive vice president of operations; and Rick Picariello, executive vice president and chief financial officer.
In addition, Tom Hippler, currently Stop & Shop's general counsel, will become general counsel for Ahold USA Retail, and report to Grize and Peter Wakkie, Ahold/Netherlands chief corporate governance counsel.
The company said several current Giant executives will remain with the company in their current positions through the end of the year to support the integration, including Jim Astuto, executive vice president store operations and distribution; Bob Evans, chief financial officer; and Bernie Ellis, executive vice president, merchandising. The company added that Astuto, Evans and Ellis will continue to report to Baird.
Also, Ann Weiser, Giant's executive vice president, human resources, will leave Giant at the end of the month to take a new job with Ahold.