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Holt to retire as CEO of Ahold Delhaize USA

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JJ Fleeman of Peapod Digital Labs nominated as successor

ZAANDAM, the Netherlands — Ahold Delhaize announced today that Kevin Holt, chief executive at Ahold Delhaize USA, will retire in April, when his term on the company’s management board expires. Holt will be succeeded as CEO and as a board member by JJ Fleeman, president of the retailer’s Peapod Digital Labs unit.

Holt will remain as an advisor through the end of 2023, according to the announcement.

Kevin Holt

Kevin Holt

“Under Kevin’s leadership, our U.S. businesses have performed exceptionally well, and he has always led with customers and associates in mind,” Frans Muller, president and CEO of Ahold Delhaize, said in a statement.

Fleeman’s appointment to the board is subject to the approval of Ahold Delhaize shareholders, who will vote on the matter at the company’s annual meeting, on April 12.

Fleeman has led Peapod Digital Labs and served as chief commercial and digital officer of Ahold Delhaize USA since May 2018, with responsibility for enabling the local brands of Ahold Delhaize USA to deliver an unparalleled omnichannel grocery experience, the company said in announcing the management change.

“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,” Peter Agnefjäll, chair of the supervisory board of Ahold Delhaize, said in the statement. “It is a testament to Kevin’s leadership that we were able to select his successor from our own ranks.”

Added Holt, “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, the largest U.S. brand, serving a diverse array of executive leadership roles, covering strategy, commercial, digital, retail operations, marketing and merchandising. Fleeman will continue to be based in Salisbury, N.C., 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.”


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