Yesterday Ahold Delhaize announced internally the executive team appointments which will support its creation of a decentralized brand structure for its store banners.

According to Ahold Delhaize the “brand-centric” structure, will allow for the local brands of Ahold Delhaize – Stop & Shop, Giant/Martin’s), Giant Food, Hannaford, Food Lion and Peapod – to develop distinctive strategies in their market areas with dedicated teams devoted to success.

Those brands will share sourcing and other scale-advantaged services through a central business unit called Retail Business Services that was established late last year.

The Retail Business Services appointments announced internally include the following, who will report to J.J. Fleeman, EVP commercial services & strategy:

  • Dave Bass, SVP merchandising & marketing services
  • Juan De Paoli, SVP private brands
  • Jeff Dichele, SVP sourcing services
  • Keith Nicks, VP digital, personalization, loyalty & analytics
  • Matt Nereim, VP strategy & PMO
  • Marissa Nelson, VP sustainable retailing
  • John McGrath, VP pharmacy services

Thursday’s announced appointments – more than 80 in all – provide staff that will be dedicated to the brands as the new structure takes hold, and include the following senior marketing, merchandising and operations posts:

Reporting to Mark McGowan, president, Stop & Shop

  • Mark Messier, EVP merchandising
  • Bob Yager, SVP market operations & sales
  • Stacy Wiggins, SVP market operations & sales
  • Steven Kienzle, SVP market operations & sales

Reporting to Meg Ham, president, Food Lion

  • Greg Finchum, EVP operations
  • Geoff Waldau, EVP merchandising
  • Deborah Sabo, SVP marketing

Reporting to Mike Vail, president, Hannaford

  • Bob Schools, SVP operations
  • Peter Forester, SVP merchandising
  • Malie Buker, VP marketing

Reporting to Tom Lenkevich, president, Giant/Martin’s

  • John Ponnett Jr, SVP operations
  • John Ruane, SVP merchandising
  • Matt Simon, VP marketing

Reporting to Gordon Reid, president, Giant Food

  • Ira Kress, SVP operations
  • Tonya Herring, SVP merchandising
  • John MacDonald, VP marketing

Officials said the brand-centric structure is expected to be complete by early 2018.


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Christopher Durham is the president of My Private Brand and the co-founder of The Vertex Awards. He is a strategist, author, consultant and retailer who built brands at Delhaize-owned Food Lion, and lead strategy and brand development for Lowe’s Home Improvement. He has consulted with retailers around the world on their private brand portfolios including: Family Dollar, Petco, Staples, Office Depot, Best Buy, Metro (Canada), TLW (Taiwan) and Hola (Taiwan). Durham has published five definitive books on private brands, including his first book, Fifty2: The My Private Brand Project. In 2017, he will debut his newest book, Vanguard: Vintage Originals, a visual tour of innovation and disruption in private brand going back to the mid-1800’s. Dynamic in his presentation while down to earth and frank in his opinions, he has presented at numerous conferences, including FUSE, The Dieline Conference, Packaging that Sells, Omnishopper and PLMA’a annual trade show in Chicago. Durham lives in Charlotte, NC with his wife, Laraine, and two daughters, Olivia and Sarah.