In the margin of the shareholders' meeting of Wednesday, Colruyt Group announced a top transfer: former Delhaize and Walmart top executive Dirk Van den Berghe will join the board. Has Jef Colruyt found his successor?
Absolute top player
Dirk Van den Berghe was elected as a director of Colruyt Group on Wednesday. With this appointment, an old acquaintance returns to the Belgian retail sector. Van den Berghe was CEO of Delhaize, until he suddenly left in 2014 to become CEO of Walmart Canada. There he made an impression, and two years later he was appointed regional chairman of Walmart Asia and top executive of Walmart China. There he experienced the disruption in the retail world from the front row. He also held directorships at online players Flipkart and JD.com, Alibaba's great rival.
In February, it was announced that the top executive would be leaving Walmart to return to Europe to spend more time with his family. But that holiday could be short-lived: "Dirk Van den Berghe is an absolute top player. He is not coming to Colruyt to play second fiddle", thinks retail expert Jorg Snoeck. "Moreover, there are certainly similarities between Walmart's model and that of Colruyt. I think that Jef Colruyt has found his successor."