Ahold Delhaize USA’s CEO to retire, successor named

JJ Fleeman, president of Peapod Digital Labs, will be nominated as CEO of Ahold Delhaize USA.
JJ-Fleeman-Head shot
JJ Fleeman

Ahold Delhaize announced that Kevin Holt, CEO of Ahold Delhaize USA, plans to retire and step down from the Ahold Delhaize management board when his term expires at the Annual General Meeting of shareholders on April 12, 2023.

Ahold Delhaize will nominate JJ Fleeman as a member of the Ahold Delhaize management board and CEO of Ahold Delhaize USA at the AGM.

JJ’s appointment to the management board of Ahold Delhaize is subject to shareholder approval at the AGM. After the AGM, Kevin will remain with Ahold Delhaize USA in an advisory capacity until he retires at the end of 2023, to ensure a seamless transition. 

Fleeman has served as president of Peapod Digital Labs and chief commercial and digital officer of Ahold Delhaize USA since May 2018. Through Peapod Digital Labs, a center that drives digital and e-commerce innovation, technology and experience to meet the changing needs of customers, JJ is responsible for enabling the local brands of Ahold Delhaize USA to deliver an unparalleled omnichannel grocery experience, the company said. 

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Peter Agnefjäll, chair of the supervisory board of Ahold Delhaize, said, “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.”

“While Kevin will be with us for another year and we will formally say goodbye next year, I want to use this opportunity to thank him for his outstanding service and leadership to the Ahold Delhaize Management Board and companies of Ahold Delhaize USA – including its predecessor companies," said Frans Muller, president and CEO of Ahold Delhaize. "Under Kevin’s leadership, our U.S. businesses have performed exceptionally well, and he has always led with customers and associates in mind,”

Holt added, “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. JJ will continue to be based in Salisbury, N.C., and spend time across other U.S. offices. 

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“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.” 

Muller added: “My Executive Committee colleagues and I look forward to welcoming JJ to our leadership team and together delivering value to customers every day. 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.”

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