After Dirk Van den Berghe, Lionel Desclée is now joining the British online department store group Very, formerly Woolworths. Both are Belgians and previously worked at Walmart. Desclée will become CEO of the e-commerce company.
It is probably no coincidence that a few months after the appointment of the Belgian Dirk Van den Berghe as president of the board at Very Group, Lionel Desclée now pops up in the British company as the new CEO. Desclée takes over on 19 September from Henry Birch, who leaves the company on 24 September after 4.5 years at the helm.
Like Van den Berghe, Desclée is a Belgian with a long track record in international retail. Their paths crossed at Walmart and Delhaize, among others. Lionel Desclée was CEO of Walmart in Japan for three years, while Dirk Van den Berghe was CEO for the Asian market. Before that, Desclée was in charge of the petcare chain Tom&Co, where he helped to separate the chain from the Delhaize Group – the supermarket chain of which Van den Berghe was the Belgian top executive for years.
Of Very Group, formerly known as Woolworths, the new CEO says the company has “a rich history of transformation and an even more exciting future”. “I can’t wait to get to work with the team to further strengthen the convenience, flexibility and value that Very offers, while exploring new products and services to support our customers.”