Dutch retail giant Ahold has announced the appointment of Bart Karis as senior vice president of general merchandising, effective 1 December 2004.

Karis, who has worked for home furnishings retailer IKEA for the last 15 years, most recently as vice president retail Europe, will report directly to Ahold president and CEO Anders Moberg.

Based at the Group Support Office in Zaandam, Karis will be responsible for developing and implementing a general merchandising strategy for the company, from product development and sourcing to supply chain management. Ahold said the new position underlines its commitment to its "Road to Recovery" programme and the re-engineering of its food retail operations.