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Jose Alvarez, executive vice president of supply chain and logistics at Ahold's Stop & Shop/Giant-Landover chains on the US east coast, has been promoted by the company to be president/CEO, replacing the retiring Marc Smith.

Alvarez has been with Ahold since 2001. Previously, he was at Shaw's Supermarkets and American Stores.

According to reports, Smith will stay on for about a month to assist in the transition.

"I'm very pleased that we are promoting Jose to the President and CEO position, as I believe his strategic planning skills and breadth of functional experience make him the right person to lead the arena," said Ahold's president/CEO Anders Moberg. "Jose has a track record of delivering results by reinventing the way we do business. He has taken responsibility for difficult projects involving large scale change and has successfully led the management teams which have completed those projects. I'm confident that he will successfully manage the repositioning of Stop & Shop/Giant-Landover to enhance our market position in this arena."
KC's View:
The problem as we hear it from insiders, regardless of who is running the company, is keeping the chains' local focus at a time when consolidation is the corporate mandate from across the ocean. There are more than a few people who believe that this isn’t the best course, that it actually subverts what always has been the company's strength.