Retailers

Ahold Delhaize Appoints Natalia Wallenberg as New Chief Human Resources Officer

CEO remarks on diversity
WGB Staff photo

Ahold Delhaize on Wednesday said it was appointing Natalia Wallenberg as its chief human resources officer.

Wallenberg will join the Dutch retail group from Syngenta Group, a global agricultural technology business with more than 49,000 associates across 90 geographic markets. She served Syngenta Group for nearly nine years, most recently working as the global head of human resources for the crop-protection division, based in Basel, Switzerland. She also served for three years as global head of HR for Syngenta's seed division, based in Minneapolis and Chicago. Prior to joining Syngenta, Wallenberg served in HR leadership roles at Renaissance Capital and IKEA Real Estate, both located in Moscow.

“I am excited to have Natalia join my executive committee as global CHRO. She brings a broad international perspective, having lived and worked in both Europe and the United States, and a wealth of experience shaping and implementing effective business and HR strategies, leadership and culture development, organization transformation and talent management,” Frans Muller, CEO of Ahold Delhaize, said.

natalia wallenberg

“I am thrilled to join Ahold Delhaize, with its focus on health and sustainability, inclusivity and value for customers. It is energizing to be part of a company with a growth-oriented culture and local brands that positively impact more than 50 million shoppers every week,” Wallenberg said. “Additionally, the values of the organization, especially care, courage and teamwork, are ones that I share and am proud to promote. I look forward to helping Frans and the company continue its transformation while cultivating its great diverse talent and purpose-driven culture."

Wallenberg is Belarussian and holds a Ph.D. in organizational psychology from the International Academy of Information Technologies in Belarus. She also holds an MA in counseling granted jointly by the Moscow School of Social and Economic Sciences in Russia and the University of Manchester in the United Kingdom.

Muller Comments on D&I

Earlier this week, Ahold Delhaize published remarks from Muller regarding the company’s focus on diversity and inclusion as part of an interview with the LEAD Network. LEAD (Leading Executives Advancing Diversity) is a Europe-based group focused on the effort to attract, retain and advance women in the consumer goods and retail sector through education, leadership and business development.

"D&I has always been a fundamental part of Ahold Delhaize," Muller stated. "This is because we have a diverse customer base and employ more than 400,000 associates across many countries, where we want to reflect the markets we serve. We know that D&I makes us stronger and enables us to do the right things for our business and, more importantly, for our people."

Muller said the company in 2017 formalized its daily D&I practice in a strategy focused on diversifying its workforce, building an inclusive workplace, and connecting with a diverse marketplace, Muller added.

“Understanding that this change was needed more broadly in the industry as well, we became the first signatory of the LEAD Network CEO Pledge. We then resigned it in 2020 and enhanced our partnership with NEW in the US. We got our brands even more connected with this topic and have begun to measure our success, starting with inclusion, because if you can’t measure and you don’t have accountability in place for leaders, then it’s not going to happen,” Muller said.

Muller’s full remarks can be found here.

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