Lidl Belgium CEO Boudewijn van den Brand, a Dutchman who led the discounter for eight years, is leaving his position on 22 April. His successor is coming from within Lidl.
Expansion and sustainability
According to Belgian business newspaper De Tijd, Van den Brand will be succeeded by Matus Gala, currently CEO of Lidl Slovakia. The discounter has confirmed the unexpected news, without giving any further details.
Van den Brand worked for Lidl Netherlands for more than eight years, before joining Lidl Belgium and Luxembourg as sales director in 2011 and rising to become CEO three years later. He pushed the ‘smart discounter’ to strong growth: the supermarket chain not only opened new stores, but also enlarged the existing premises in order to create more space for fresh products. The ‘Lidl of the Future’ store concept, which was first presented in 2016, saw a rapid implementation.
Van den Brand placed great emphasis on a responsible business policy: in 2017, he launched the ambitious sustainability strategy ‘Towards tomorrow’, which is based on five pillars: product range, employees, environment, society and business partners. One of the ambitions was to become the best employer in the Belgian retail sector by 2020. However, in the autumn of 2021, the retailer faced social unrest and strikes, in part because the new fresh food store concept entailed more work pressure on the floor, according to the trade unions.