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As Ahold announced that the back office operations of four of its six US grocery chains would be further integrated to achieve cost efficiencies, Bruno’s CEO Jim Demme announced that he would leave the company “to pursue other interests.”

The integration affects Bi-Lo and Bruno’s, which will restructure some of their business functions, and Giant Food and Tops, which will accelerate a consolidation begun several years ago.

Bi-Lo CEO Dean Cohagan will now head up Bruno’s as well, following Demme’s resignation. Bruce Efird has been promoted to Executive Vice President and General Manager of Bruno's and will lead the day-to-day operations of the Bruno's business.

"This is consistent with Ahold's strategy to operate local stores focused on meeting the needs of the local customer," said Bill Grize, President and CEO of Ahold USA Retail Operations. "The competitive benefits are the efficiencies and economies of scale offered by our global company."

Ahold's two biggest US chains, Stop & Shop and Giant-Landover, aren't part of the reorganization.
KC's View:
Ahold, of course, has been focusing on building up its core businesses and pursuing efficiencies in order to bolster a shaky bottom line. This is the kind of move one expects of Ahold, which is consistently decisive -- some might say ruthless -- in protecting its business and capitalizing on its strengths.