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Kevin Holt, Supervalu's former president of retail operations, has been named as Delhaize America's new CEO. Holt, who fills the top position at the international retailer's Salisbury, N.C., headquarters, which has been vacant for several months, will also become a member of the Delhaize Group's executive committee. He will begin his new role on July 7, 2014 and will lead the group's U.S. operations, which includes more than 1,500 stores along the East Coast in 16 states.
In a statement, Holt said he sees "tremendous opportunity in the business," and looks forward to leading the division and "reinforcing and executing the strategy and continuing to focus on our customers" at Delhaize America's retail subsidiaries, which include Bottom Dollar Food, Food Lion, Harveys, Hannaford Supermarkets, Reid's and Sweetbay Supermarket.
Frans Muller, president/CEO of Delhaize Group, praised Holt's "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."
Holt comes to Delhaize Group with more than 20 years of retail leadership experience in operations, strategy and information technology. Prior to Supervalu, he served for three years with Sears Holding Co. and 14 years with Meijer, working in various leadership positions including EVP of retail operations and SVP of information technology/services and strategic planning.
Prior to his retail management career, Holt spent nine years at NCR delivering technology solutions to large and complex organizations.
Holt's arrival at Delhaize America follows on the heels of last week's news that Wal-Mart Stores Inc. hired former Delhaize Group executive Dirk Van den Berghe to lead its Canadian operations. Van den Berghe replaced Shelley Broader as CEO of Wal-Mart Canada when Broader, also a former Delhaize exec, moves to oversee company operations in Europe, the Middle East and sub-Saharan Africa.