BRUSSELS, Belgium — Belgian international food retailer Delhaize Group, whose U.S. banners include Hannaford, Sweetbay and Food Lion, has announced that president and CEO Pierre-Olivier Beckers intends to retire from his executive role by the end of this year.
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, the company stated. He will continue to serve on the board, in a nonexecutive capacity, after stepping down as CEO.
The board is now searching for a successor and will consider both internal and external candidates. It is working to facilitate a smooth and orderly transition of the CEO by the end of 2013.
Beckers joined Delhaize Group in 1983, has been a director of the company since 1995 and was appointed president and CEO in January 1999. In almost 15 years as CEO he has led Delhaize Group during a period of fast change in the global food retail environment.
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, revenues grew from €12.9 to €22.6 billion. More recently, Delhaize Group has increased its growth profile with 30.7% of the stores now located in growth markets, generating 14% of the group’s revenues compared with less than 5% when Beckers took office, the company stated.
“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. Until then I remain fully committed to leading and supporting the company and its 158,000 associates,” stated Beckers.