Key Ahold USA Changes: Hucker Appointed Giant/Landover President; Singh To EVP-Ops

Ahold recently made two appointments to its USA retail executive management team.  Anthony T. Hucker will join Giant/Landover as division president and Bhavdeep Singh will transition from his current role as executive vice president of human resources, Ahold USA, to a new role as executive vice president of operations for Ahold USA. Both men will take their new positions effective October 3, 2011.

Hucker replaces Don Sussman who has served as interim president of the division since the end of 2010 when then-president Robin Michel departed. Sussman will resume his role as executive vice president-supply chain for Ahold USA.

Hucker will have responsibility for Giant/Landover’s sales, operating profits, organization and people. The division, headquartered in Landover, MD, operates 173 supermarkets in Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, and the District of Columbia, and employs approximately 22,000 associates. Included within the 173 stores are 159 full-service pharmacies.

Advertisement

Commenting on the appointment, Carl Schlicker, CEO of Ahold USA Retail, said, “We’re excited to welcome Anthony, who brings a wealth of retail and food industry experience to Giant. Anthony takes over the helm of a business that is celebrating 75 years of providing the highest quality, value and service to customers in Washington, DC, Maryland, Delaware and Virginia, where 173 stores are woven into the fabric of each and every community they serve.”

Hucker has more than 25 years of experience in leadership, strategy and operations in international retailing. He joins Giant/Landover from Wal-Mart, where he most recently served as corporate vice president, head of Wal-Mart’s express division. He joined the mass merchandiser in 2004 and served in various executive leadership positions there, with increasing responsibilities.

Hucker began his career in the European retail industry as a food industry analyst. He then worked for 10 years with Aldi in leadership assignments in Germany, Austria and the U.S., and as part of the original start up team for Aldi UK.

Advertisement

Hucker is on the board of directors for CASA, serving the needs of neglected and abused children, and is a Member of the Marketing Committee for the Consumer Goods Forum. He holds a B.A. degree in retail marketing from the University of Manchester, UK and a diploma in International Marketing from the Chartered Institute of Marketing, UK.

In his new role, Singh will also report to Schlicker, and he will provide guidance and support to the Stop & Shop New England, Stop & Shop New York Metro, Giant Carlisle and Giant Landover divisions by identifying ways to drive sales and profit and leverage best practices. The division presidents will continue to run all aspects of business in their divisions.

A process to identify a new EVP of Ahold USA human resources is under way.

Singh joined Ahold USA in January 2011 and has been actively engaged in leading the HR support function. In his most recent assignment prior to joining Ahold, Singh served as chief executive officer for Fortis Healthcare in New Delhi, India. Fortis is a leading health care provider in Asia and is one of the largest private hospital operators in the world. Prior to Fortis, Singh served as chief executive officer for Reliance Fresh in Mumbai, India, India’s largest chain of convenience-style grocery retailers. At Reliance, Singh led a store roll-out plan that saw the organization open 700 new stores in less than two years. Before relocating to India from the U.S., Singh spent several years in diverse leadership positions with The Great Atlantic and Pacific Tea Company (A&P), including business head for A&P’s largest region, and president of the company’s Super Fresh division as well as president of The Food Emporium and Super Foodmart.

Commenting on Singh’s appointment, Schlicker said, “I am confident that

Bhavdeep’s exceptional leadership qualities and operations experience will serve the business well in his new assignment.”

In related Royal Ahold news, the company announced the appointment of Jeff Carr as executive vice president and chief financial officer, starting November 12, 2011. Carr will be a member of Ahold’s corporate executive board, pending shareholder approval. He will succeed Kimberly Ross who is leaving Ahold in November to become CFO of Avon.

Carr will be responsible for Ahold’s finance, real estate and IT functions. He will also manage the company’s existing 350 million euro cost reduction program and explore further ways to reduce costs and simplify the business.

“We are delighted to have an experienced finance professional of Jeff’s caliber joining our board,” said Dick Boer, CEO of Ahold. “He has an impressive track record and broad experience in the consumer goods and services industry on both of the continents where Ahold operates. Jeff has been CFO of listed companies since 2005, and has worked and lived in Europe and the United States. His background and expertise in finance will help us to pursue our growth strategy,” Boer said.

Carr, 49,  is a British national. He is currently group finance director and a member of the board at UK-based FirstGroup, the leading transport operator in the United Kingdom and North America, including Greyhound in the United States and Canada. Before joining FirstGroup, he was group finance director and board member at easyJet, and held senior financial roles at Associated British Foods, Reckitt Benckiser, and Grand Metropolitan. He began his career at Unilever.

The Ahold supervisory board will nominate Carl for appointment to the corporate executive board at its annual general meeting of shareholders on April 17, 2012. Until then, he will be an acting member of the corporate executive board.