Dutch Grocery Chain Ahold Gets New CFO
AMSTERDAM, Netherlands (AP) _ Dutch grocery retailer Ahold said Thursday it will appoint Hannu Ryopponen, a top financial official at a European private equity firm, as its new chief financial officer.
The company’s finances have been overseen by its supervisory board and an interim chief financial officer since its announcement in February that its U.S. Foodservice arm had overstated profits by about $880 million from 2000 to 2002. Chief executive Cees van der Hoeven and chief financial officer Michael Meurs resigned as the company made that disclosure.
Van der Hoeven was replaced in May by Anders Moberg, a former chief executive at Swedish furniture retailer Ikea.
Dudley Eustace, a former chief financial officer at Dutch electronics maker Philips, has been interim CFO, but will be replaced by Ryopponen once shareholders approve the appointment.
Ryopponen, 51, is currently finance director of the private equity firm Industri Kapital Group in London. Like his new boss Moberg, Ryopponen had previously worked at Ikea, as vice president of finance.
Eustace called Ryopponen ``exactly the right man″ for the job.
Moberg said he would work with Ryopponen ``to rebuild confidence in Ahold.″
After Ahold’s announcement on Feb. 24, the company’s stock lost two-thirds of its value in a single trading session. Shares have since staged a modest recovery as investors’ confidence grew that the company was not in danger of bankruptcy.
However, investigations into Ahold’s bookkeeping have been launched by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and the Dutch market regulator.
More than half Ahold’s sales are in the United States, where it owns various grocery chains, including Tops, Stop & Shop and Bruno’s, as well as U.S. Foodservice, which delivers food to hotels, schools and restaurants.
In afternoon trading on the New York Stock Exchange, Ahold shares were down 13 cents, or 1.5 percent, to $8.86.