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Delhaize nabs ex-Supervalu exec for CEO role

Kevin Holt was named CEO of Delhaize America to oversee U.S. operations that account for 60% of Belgium-based retailer’s annual sales of $28 billion.

Holt recently spent a year as president of retail operations for Supervalu but he also held senior executive roles at Sears Holding and Meijer. The Delhaize America group he will lead is essentially the Food Lion chain of 1,124 stores concentrated in the Southeast. The division also includes 183 Hannaford stores and 62 Bottom Dollar stores which are similar to the more than 1,300 no frills, limited assortment Sav-A-Lot stores operated by Supervalu. Delhaize America recently sold 244 Harvey’s, Sweetbay and Reid’s stores to Bi-Lo Holdings, the parent company of Winn-Dixie and Bi-Lo stores.

"I am very pleased to have Kevin join our team", said Frans Muller, president and CEO of the Delhaize Group. "Kevin brings both deep industry experience as well as a comprehensive customer orientation that will help our U.S. operations to continue to implement our existing strategy and build on the strong momentum of recent quarters. I am looking forward to working with him."

Holt left Supervalu a little over a year ago as part of a major management shake up that also saw the departure of Tim Lowe, EVP of merchandising and Michael Moore, chief marketing officer. Holt only spent one year with Supervalu and prior to that he was president of Hudsonville Ice Cream and Kilwin’s Quality Confection in Michigan. Prior that he spent three years with Sears Holdings as EVP and president of stores. Prior to Sears, Holt was with Meijer for 13 years where he worked in various leadership positions including EVP of retail operations and SVP of information technology, services and strategic planning. Before moving into the retail industry, Holt spent nine years at NCR.

His appointment at Delhaize America follows another key move at Delhaize Group involving to appointment of Denis Knoops to the role of CEO for Delhaize Belgium and Luxembourg. Knoops replaced Dirk Van den Berghe who left recently to become president and CEO of Walmart Canada.