Belgian retailer Delhaize Group has appointed former Metro Cash & Carry chief Frans Muller to the post of CEO.

Muller will take the helm on 8 November, replacing Pierre-Olivier Beckers, who announced his intention to step down from the post in May. Beckers will remain available in an advisory role until the end of the year and will continue to sit on the Delhaize board in a non-executive capacity.

Delhaize also announced the head of its US business, Roland Smith, was resigning. Smith will act as an advsior to the CEO until the end of the year. Smith became CEO of Delhaize America last August; when he leaves the business, the US operations will report into the retailer’s group chief executive.

Muller most recently served as chief executive Metro Group’s wholesale business, with responsibility for 740 stores in 29 markets. He also sat on the management board of the German retail giant. However, Muller left Metro earlier this year when CEO Olaf Koch took operational responsibility for the unit. 

Delhaize said Muller’s operational experience – from supply chain management to procurement – alongside his “proven” ability to grow businesses would be crucial to the group’s future expansion.

“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,” chairman Mats Jansson said.

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Click here for our Talking shop analysis on the appointment of Frans Muller as Delhaize CEO.