Delhaize Group, parent company of Food Lion, said this morning that Pierre-Olivier Beckers, the company’s president and CEO, plans to retire by the end of the year. He will continue to serve as a company director.
As part of Delhaize’s succession plan, Beckers will stay in his post until a new CEO is appointed and a smooth transition has taken place. He will continue to serve on the board, in a non-executive capacity, after stepping down as CEO.
Beckers joined Belgian international food retailer Delhaize Group in 1983, has been a director of the company since 1995 and was appointed president and CEO in January 1999. In nearly 15 years as CEO he has led Delhaize Group during a period of fast change in the global food retail environment, according to a company news release.
Under Beckers’ leadership, Delhaize transformed itself from a Belgian company with an international presence to an integrated group sharing the same vision and values. Since 1999, the number of stores has grown from 1,904 to 3,411 in 10 countries on three continents. More recently, Delhaize Group has increased its growth profile with 30.7 percent of the stores now located in growth markets, generating 14 percent of the group’s revenues compared to less than 5 percent when Beckers took office, the release says.
The company’s board of directors is conducting a search for a successor and will consider both internal and external candidates.
Mats Jansson, chairman of the board, said, “Pierre-Olivier Beckers has worked for Delhaize for 30 years with tireless energy and absolute passion, displaying very strong values and great respect for people. As shown by our recent results, business performance continues to strengthen following our initiatives over recent years. This positions the company well for the future and provides a great platform for his successor. Pierre-Olivier will lead the company until a smooth transition has taken place and we look forward to continue working with him as a colleague on the board.”
“While serving this company and working with the board of directors, great colleagues and great teams has been the most rewarding job I can imagine, the board of directors and I agree that the moment is right to put in place a successor who will lead the group and its evolution into the future,” Beckers said. “Until then I remain fully committed to leading and supporting the company and its 158,000 associates.”