Ahold has insisted the revamp of its US business remains “on-track” and played down talk that it would make major acquisitions after a reshuffle of its top management bench.
Earlier today (10 July), the Netherlands-based retailer announced a rejig of its executive roster, including a change at the helm of its leading US chain and the creation of a global strategic post.
Carl Schlicker, president and CEO of US chain Giant-Carlisle, is set to take charge of Ahold’s larger business in the country, Stop & Shop/Giant-Landover.
Schlicker will replace Jose Alvarez, who has been moved to the new position of executive vice president for global business development, reporting directly to Rishton.
Ahold’s Giant-Carlisle business will be run by Sander van der Laan, the executive vice president for marketing and merchandising at the retailer’s flagship domestic chain Albert Heijn.
The changes in the US, a market that accounts for just over half of Ahold’s revenue, comes as the company pushes on with an overhaul of its business in the country.
Ahold is revamping its stores in the US and cutting prices under a 2006 plan dubbed the “Value Improvement Programme”.
In June, Ahold admitted the changes to its US stores were weighing on margins but the company is adamant the programme is the right strategy for its business across the Atlantic.
A spokesperson for Ahold told just-food today that the appointment of Schlicker to head Stop & Shop/Giant-Landover would see a focus on marketing and branding at the stores.
“Carl Schlicker is a real marketer and that’s the phase that the value improvement programme is in now,” the spokesperson said. “The programme is on-track, we are happy with its progress and it is progressing exactly as expected.”
Alvarez, Schlicker’s predecessor and the man set to take up the new global strategic post, will focus on strategy throughout Ahold, the spokesperson said.
However, she played down the prospect of large-scale acquisitions or moves into emerging markets like Russia.
“In terms of acquisitions, we have said we are interested in bolt-on or fill-in acquisitions,” she said. “Russia would be a bit of a long shot.”