Barely two months after his dismissal from Carrefour France, James McCann has been appointed Chief Commercial & Development Officer at Dutch distribution group Ahold. He will take office on 1 September as “acting member” of the board of directors, until his official appointment at the General meeting of stockholders on 17 April 2012.
Bridge between Europe and USA
Ahold boasts about McCann’s arrival, saying he has “an impressive background of working in leading roles for a number of international retailers in various countries”. Dick Boer, CEO at Ahold, also praised “his experience in developing businesses in different markets, and his knowledge in e-commerce, building customer relationships and strengthening loyalty. Both will help us accelerate our initiatives in these key growth areas for our business.” McCann’s primary task in this newly created office will be to build a bridge between Ahold Europe and Ahold USA.
Positive surprise for analysts
The news is a big surprise, as Ahold never expressed any intention to add a new role to its board of directors. For most analysts, it was a positive surprise that will boost Ahold’s stock exchange quotations. ABN Amro’s Robert Jan Vos explains: “This appointment is a sign that Ahold is seriously looking to expand itself through acquisitions. The group specifically stated McCann will play an important role in the expansion towards new markets, which indicates that this strategy is a priority measure for them”.
Impressive resume… with one stain
Briton James McCann, born in 1969, started his career at Shell in 1992, before moving to Mars. In 1999, he moved to Sainsbury’s and three years later already to Tesco, where he was responsible for Poland, Malaysia and Hungary. Last year, he was executive director for Carrefour France until he was let go last May, due to disappointing results: the only stain on an impeccable resume.