AMSTERDAM — Ahold here last week said it has named longtime retailing veteran Dick Boer as the company's new chief executive officer and elevated Carl Schlicker to chief operating officer of Ahold USA.
Boer, credited with overseeing a revitalization of the company's Dutch operations, succeeds John Rishton, who is leaving to become CEO of Rolls-Royce PLC. The change is effective in March 2011.
“While the leadership will change, the strategy remains the same,” Rishton said in a conference call with analysts last week. “Dick has been intimately involved with the Ahold strategy since leading the 2006 retail review, which we have successfully delivered, and the subsequent strategy development as an executive board member. This is a carefully planned succession, which is designed to continue to deliver our successful strategy.”
Schlicker, who has been CEO of Ahold USA Retail, will succeed Larry Benjamin, who is retiring “early next year,” the company said. Ahold USA includes Quincy, Mass.-based Stop & Shop, Giant of Landover, Md., and Giant of Carlisle, Pa., as well as the Peapod e-grocery brand.
Boer most recently had been COO of Ahold Europe. He will be succeeded in that position by Sander van der Laan, the former CEO of Giant-Carlisle. Both Schlicker and van der Laan will report to Boer.
Boer was a veteran of the international cash-and-carry chain Makro before he joined Ahold in 1998 to run the company's Czech Republic operations. He was named CEO of the Dutch chain Albert Heijn in 2000, and in 2003 he was named CEO of Ahold Nederland. He became COO of Ahold Europe in 2006.
Patrick Roquas, an analyst with Amsterdam-based Rabobank, said he expected that Ahold's strategies would continue under the new management team.
“Mr. Boer is a highly respected and successful retailer,” he told SN. “Together with Sander van der Laan — and two other managers — Mr. Boer has been the driving force behind the impressive turnaround of Albert Heijn that started in 2003.
“We expect Dick Boer to continue the strategy of Ahold. We also regard the appointment of Sander van der Laan as COO of Europe as good news.”
Roquas also noted that Boer had been a candidate for the CEO position when Ahold hired Rishton, a British Airways veteran, as CEO instead in 2007.
Schlicker, who has been with Ahold since 1986, had been named CEO of Ahold Retail last year. Before that he was president and CEO of Stop & Shop and Giant-Landover, and before that he had spent 10 years in the Giant-Carlisle division.