The supervisory board of troubled Dutch retailer Royal Ahold has announced it has appointed Dudley Eustace to the corporate executive board as interim chief financial officer, effective immediately.

Eustace, 66, is non-executive Chairman of Smith & Nephew, a London-based medical devices company. He will continue to fulfil his duties at Smith & Nephew while overseeing the financial restructuring at Ahold. Eustace was appointed chairman of Smith & Nephew in January 2000, following a year as deputy chairman. Prior to that, Eustace was based in the Netherlands between 1992 and 1999 as deputy chairman and director of finance at Royal Philips Electronics. He was previously director of finance at British Aerospace and treasurer of Alcan Aluminium.

‘My priority is to stabilise the financial fundamentals of Ahold and to assist in the recruitment of a permanent full-time chief financial officer for the business, hopefully by the end of the year,’ Eustace commented.

Henny de Ruiter, chairman of the supervisory board, insisted it was still business as usual at Ahold’s operations.

‘Despite the current challenges we face, our core food businesses around the world are in solid shape and focused on their daily operations,’ he said.

On 24 February 2003 Ahold announced that its president and CEO Cees van der Hoeven and CFO Michael Meurs would resign but that they would stay on for an appropriate period of time in order to effect an orderly transition of affairs. Ahold announced today [Tuesday] that this transitional period has been completed.

To read our current feature on the Ahold debacle, just-food members click here.

To find out more about the benefits of joining just-food, click here.