Ahold Delhaize has announced that CEO Kevin Holt plans to retire and step down from the management board when his term expires at the annual general meeting of shareholders on April 12.
The company will nominate JJ Fleeman as member of the Ahold Delhaize management board and CEO of Ahold Delhaize USA at the AGM. To ensure a seamless transition, Fleeman’s appointment to the management board of Ahold Delhaize is subject to shareholder approval at the meeting. Holt will remain with the company in an advisory capacity until he retires at the end of 2023.
Fleeman has served as president of Peapod Digital Labs and chief commercial and digital officer of Ahold Delhaize USA since May 2018. Through Peapod, he is responsible for enabling the local brands of Ahold Delhaize USA to deliver an unparalleled omnichannel grocery experience.
Peter Agnefjäll, chair of the supervisory board, stated: “JJ is an inspiring leader who will advance the U.S. businesses through omnichannel market share growth and who will continue to deliver on the Connected Customer strategy that Kevin has so carefully developed and implemented with the team over the past few years. It is a testament to Kevin’s leadership that we were able to select his successor from our own ranks.”
Frans Muller, president and CEO of Ahold Delhaize, commented, “While Kevin will be with us for another year and we will formally say goodbye next year, I want to use this opportunity to thank him for his outstanding service and leadership to the Ahold Delhaize Management Board and companies of Ahold Delhaize USA – including its predecessor companies. Under Kevin’s leadership, our U.S. businesses have performed exceptionally well, and he has always led with customers and associates in mind.”
Holt added, “My time at the companies of Ahold Delhaize USA have been some of the best years of my career in retail. I’m very proud of how our teams have ensured that our brands remain locally relevant and serve customers through our omnichannel offerings. I look forward to continuing to see our businesses thrive under JJ’s leadership.”
Fleeman has spent the majority of his 30-year career in grocery retail in Ahold Delhaize companies, including Food Lion, serving an array of executive leadership roles, covering strategy, commercial, digital, retail operations, marketing and merchandising. He will continue to be based in Salisbury, North Carolina, and spend time across other U.S. offices.
“I’m incredibly grateful for this opportunity to serve as CEO of Ahold Delhaize USA and work alongside our associates who are passionate about serving their customers and communities each and every day,” Fleeman said.
“The U.S. businesses are very strong, with the local brands holding leading market positions where each of these companies operate. We are a proud part of the communities we serve, providing access to affordable, healthy and sustainable food to millions of customers every day.”