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Reports: Ahold Delhaize preparing for CEO swap

Netherlands-based supermarket operator Koninklijke Ahold Delhaize NV is planning for succession in its highest executive position, Dutch newspaper De Standaard reported Feb. 26.

Citing De Standaard, multiple English-language news outlets reported that the company could replace President, CEO and Chairman of the management board Dick Boer with Deputy CEO, Chief Integration Officer and member of the management board Frans Muller as early as the week of Feb. 26.

Ahold Delhaize did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the report from S&P Global Market Intelligence.

The company, which operates supermarkets under banners including Albert Heijn in Europe and Food Lion in the U.S., is the product of the 2016 merger between Dutch and Belgian supermarket operators. Mueller, who served as an executive at Delhaize before the deal, has helped oversee the integration between the two companies since 2016.

Mueller also served as an interim CEO for Delhaize's U.S. operations, an experience that could become relevant if Ahold Delhaize decides to make an acquisition in North America, Sanford C. Bernstein analyst Bruno Monteyne wrote in a Feb. 26 research note.

"Frans steered Delhaize into the merger with Ahold and may be the right person to execute another merger and see the group through a second U.S. integration," Monteyne wrote, adding that Ahold Delhaize might announce the CEO change in full-year financial results expected on Feb. 28.