BRUSSELS, June 24 Belgian supermarkets group
Delhaize has appointed the former president of retail
operations of U.S. grocery group SUPERVALU as the head
of Delhaize America after a nine-month search.
Kevin Holt will take up his post at chief executive officer
for Delhaize America on July 7, Delhaize said in a statement
late on Monday.
The U.S. business, which accounts for some 60 percent of
Delhaize's revenue, has been without a chief since September.
Previous U.S. boss Roland Smith resigned on September 4, the
same day that Delhaize announced that the former head of German
retailer Metro Frans Muller would take over as CEO of
the whole group.
Delhaize shares were trading up 1.0 percent at 0730 GMT,
making it one of the strongest performers in a largely flat
STOXX European retail index.
"It has taken surprisingly long to find a replacement," said
Bank Degroof analyst Hans D'Haese. "At first sight, it seems
like a good name. He's the kind of person they need, with
experience in America."
Delhaize has some 3,500 stores, of which about 1,500 are in
the United States, stretching from Georgia to Maine including
the Food Lion, Bottom Dollar and Hannaford chains.
SUPERVALU has 3,400 owned, licensed, franchised and
affiliated stores across the United States, its own stores
operating as Cub Foods, Farm Fresh, Hornbacher's, Shop 'n Save
and Shoppers as well as the Save-a-Lot discount chain.
(Reporting by Philip Blenkinsop; editing by Jason Neely)