The CEO of Salisbury-based grocer Delhaize America resigned Wednesday, meaning Food Lion’s new chief executive will now report directly to the grocer’s parent company in Belgium while the company attempts its turnaround.
Roland Smith had been CEO of Delhaize America for less than a year. He will be available as a “senior adviser” for the rest of the year, the company said in a statement.
Food Lion chief executive Beth Newlands Campbell, along with the grocer’s other U.S. operations, will report directly to Delhaize Group’s new CEO in Brussels, a spokeswoman said.
“I want to thank Roland for his significant contributions to the success of Delhaize America, particularly the energy and focus he brought to the business,” said Pierre-Olivier Beckers, Delhaize Group CEO.
Food Lion and Delhaize America’s corporate offices are both based in Salisbury. The companies are wholly owned subsidiaries of Delhaize Group.
Wednesday’s announcement is the latest shakeup in what has been a tumultuous year for Food Lion and Delhaize. Newlands Campbell was brought in last year to oversee Food Lion’s revitalization in the face of lagging sales and profits.
This year, Food Lion cut 500 corporate jobs, and Delhaize arranged the sale of its 155 Sweetbay, Harveys and Reid’s supermarkets to Bi-Lo. Food Lion also closed 113 underperforming stores and shuttered its Bloom locations in 2012.
Last month, Newlands Campbell told the Observer that she planned to press for more changes at Food Lion.
“We just have to get better, and we have to do it every day,” she said. “This is about fixing Food Lion by being a better Food Lion.”
Portillo: 704-358-5041; Twitter: @ESPortillo
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