- Dutch retailer Ahold this morning appointed Dudley Eustace to be the company’s interim chief financial officer, replacing Michael Meurs, who was forced to resign last month because of “accounting irregularities” related to a $500 million overstatement of earnings. Ahold CEO Cees van der Hoeven also had to resign.
Eustace is the chairman of the board for a UK medical technology firm, and he said his job would be to stabilize Ahold’s financial fundamentals and recruit a permanent CFO by the end of the year. Stabilization will be a big job; the company’s stock price has dropped 70 percent in just the last few weeks.
- The Washington Post reports this morning that a “small number” of suppliers have asked Ahold USA chains for improved payment terms because of concerns about the accounting scandal.
The company has sent a letter to all its suppliers reassuring them about the company’s status. None of the retail chains that make up Ahold USA have been implicated in the scandal.
In the letter, William J. Grize, president and CEO of Ahold USA, wrote, "Royal Ahold as a whole, and Ahold USA Retail specifically, are strong cash generators. No irregularities were found at Ahold USA Retail, and no changes have taken place in the Ahold USA Retail management team.” Grize said the accounting problems represent only “short-term challenges.”
- The Financial Times reports this morning that ICA Ahold, the Scandinavian chain half-owned by Ahold, said that the company’s financial problems will not affect its own growth, which it was planning to finance itself.
- KC's View:
The big difference between Grize’s letter and Miller’s letter seems to be that Grize isn’t worried about his job and therefore didn’t feel the need to sling any mud.