BRUSSELS — Delhaize Group here said Wednesday that it has selected Frans Muller as its new chief executive officer, and that U.S. CEO Roland Smith was resigning.
Muller, most recently CEO of Metro Cash Cash & Carry and a member of the management board of its parent company Metro AG, will join Delhaize Oct. 14 and succeed Pierre-Oliver Beckers, who announced plans to retire last year. Beckers will remain in an advisory role until the end of the year and continue as a non-executive member of the retailer's board of directors.
Delhaize's U.S. operations, which include Food Lion, Hannaford and Bottom Dollar stores, will report directly to Muller following Smith's departure, effective today. Smith, who joined Delhaize a year ago, will stay with the company in an advisory role until the end of the year.
"Our U.S. business continues to deliver positive results and we have a solid foundation upon which to build. There is a strong leadership team in place and we look forward to further progress in the U.S. I want to thank Roland for his significant contributions to the success of Delhaize America, particularly the energy and focus he brought to the business," Beckers said in a statement. "I am pleased that he will be available as a senior advisor to the CEO until the end of the year."
Muller, 52, has more than 15 years of senior leadership experience in retail. His extensive operational experience, from supply chain management to procurement, and proven ability to drive growth will be critical to Delhaize Group's continued momentum, Delhaize said.
Mats Jansson, chairman of Delhaize's board of directors, said: "Frans has the right mix of experience and skills to lead our company into the future and we are pleased to welcome him to Delhaize Group. He brings a deep understanding of global food retailing and we are impressed by his international perspective, operational expertise, and proven ability to grow businesses."
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