- Ahold Delhaize has nominated former Unilever and Avon executive Jan Zijderveld to join its supervisory board, according to a press release Tuesday. The board plans to propose his appointment at its annual general meeting on April 14.
- Zijderveld spent almost 30 years at British consumer goods firm Unilever, including serving as president and CEO of its European operations and as a member of the executive team. From 2018 to 2020, he was CEO of beauty and personal care supplier Avon until it was acquired by Natura &Co.
- The Unilever veteran is expected to join a board with member backgrounds ranging across non-food companies including The Ikea Group, Morgan Stanley and Dutch brewing company Heineken N.V.
Zijderveld’s background would further bolster Ahold Delhaize's board-level experience in consumer packaged goods — a key step as the grocery company looks to bolster relations with suppliers and also sell more digital ads to them. Dominique Leroy, who has served on the board since July 2016, spent 24 years at Unilever.
Assuming Zijderveld’s nomination is accepted, he will serve a four-year term and be eligible for reappointment for a tenure of up to 12 years. The board’s responsibilities consist mainly of assessing Ahold Delhaize’s performance and approving proposed major resolutions. Supervisory Board Chair Peter Agnefjäll noted that Zijderveld’s experience would be particularly relevant in the execution of Ahold Delhaize’s Leading Together strategy.
Announced in 2018, the Leading Together growth strategy includes an estimated doubling of Ahold Delhaize's net consumer online sales to €7 billion ($8.4 billion) and a new cost-savings program to reach a cumulative total of €1.8 billion ($2.2 billion).
Like many other retailers, Ahold Delhaize also aims to boost digital trade spending from product companies as online sales cut deeper into margins. Peapod Digital Labs, the company's digital media services that launched in 2018, offers digital coupons, influencer marketing services, paid product listings and other tools.
Zijderveld currently also serves on the board of directors of Dutch variety store chain Hema. While at Unilever Europe, he oversaw the creation of a marketing and innovation hub in the Netherlands, which he has cited as a critical element of achieving positive growth numbers during his tenure at the company.