CEO Ahold Delhaize under magnifying glass to ‘grab inflation’

On May 10, Frans Müller will present Ahold Delhaize’s quarterly figures. Has he been driving for a long time?

Mueller has served as CEO of Ahold Delhaize since July 1, 2018. Prior to succeeding Dick Boer as CEO of the combined company, he was CEO of the Delhaize Group.

Müller was born in Amstelveen. He moved to Heemstede when he was fourteen and attended grammar school at the Lyceum Sancta Maria in Haarlem. He studied economics in Rotterdam. Mueller has worked at KLM and Makro, among others. His brother Michel is the co-founder of the online supermarket Picnic. Mueller is the father of three.

How is the supermarket giant?

So good for a long time Ahold Delhaize, known in the Netherlands as Albert Heijn, Gall & Gall and, achieved its highest profit in ten years in 2022: 2.5 billion euros. Most of this was obtained in the United States.

The huge profit led to great happiness among the shareholders and investors. Ahold Delhaize bought back its shares for €1 billion and also paid nearly €1 billion in dividends. Ahold Delhaize’s share rose by more than 8 percent on February 15, 2023, when it provided its annual numbers. The share will rise by about 16 percent in 2023.

A demonstration was recently held during the general meeting of shareholders.

Not everyone is happy with Ahold Delhaize’s huge earnings. The FNV and Milieudefensie unions demonstrated on April 11 at the shareholder meeting at the head office in Zaandam. FNV calls on Mueller to put an end to the “huge income differentials at Ahold Delhaize companies”. The union accuses shareholders and directors of “inflation capture”: they will benefit disproportionately from profits made in times of inflation. Mueller saw his wages rise to 6.5 million euros last year. FNV: “Compare this with the hourly wages of an eighteen-year-old in the shop, who only gets €5.70.”

Milieudefensie is also not happy with Ahold Delhaize’s huge earnings. The environmental organization calculated that the company at the current exchange rate “110 billion euros in climate damage [veroorzaakt] by 2050, due in part to carbon dioxide emissions2 in meat and dairy production. Ahold Delhaize is a CO2Emissions are down 37 percent in 2030 compared to 2020, but the environmental organization is asking for a 45 percent cut.

What does the future hold for Mueller and Hurd Delhaize?

In September 2022, the Oversight Board announced its intention to reappoint Mueller. The board of directors is satisfied with the CEO. Whether investors, activists Milieudefensie and FNV, will be clear on May 10, when Mueller presents the quarterly numbers.

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