Ahold Delhaize USA CEO Kevin Holt to retire

The Dutch retailer plans to nominate JJ Fleeman, president of Peapod Digital Labs, to the top spot. The retailer's shareholders will vote on the appointment in April.
JJ Fleeman. / Photo courtesy of Ahold Delhaize.

Kevin Holt, CEO of Ahold Delhaize USA, is retiring and stepping down from the grocery company's management board when his term expires at the annual shareholder meeting on April 12, Ahold Delhaize said on Tuesday.

The Dutch retailer will nominate JJ Fleeman as a member of the Ahold Delhaize Management Board and CEO of Ahold Delhaize USA at the annual meeting.

Fleeman’s appointment to the management board of Ahold Delhaize is subject to shareholder approval. Holt will remain with Ahold Delhaize USA in an advisory capacity until he retires at the end of 2023.

“Under Kevin’s leadership, our U.S. businesses have performed exceptionally well, and he has always led with customers and associates in mind,”  said Frans Muller, president and CEO of Ahold Delhaize, in a statement. “Our U.S. businesses are an important part of our strong global portfolio that we will continue to build on. We are fortunate that we’re able to work together with both Kevin and JJ over the next few months as we prepare for this leadership transition.”

Since 2018, Fleeman has served as president of Peapod Digital Labs and chief commercial and digital officer of Ahold Delhaize USA. Through Peapod Digital Labs, Fleeman oversaw the local brands of Ahold Delhaize USA.

“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,” said Peter Agnefjäll, chair of the Supervisory Board of Ahold Delhaize, in a statement.

During his 30-year career in grocery retail in Ahold Delhaize companies, including Food Lion, Fleeman served in executive leadership roles, covering strategy, commercial, digital, retail operations, marketing and merchandising. He will continue to be based in Salisbury, North Carolina, and will 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,” added Fleeman. “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.”

Ahold Delhaize banner stores in the U.S. include Stop & Shop, Hannaford, Martin’s, Giant Food and Food Lion. 



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