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CFO Gets Ahold of Top Job

Former finance chief of British Airways, passed over for the top job, will be flying high as acting CEO of Dutch food conglomerate Royal Ahold.
Dave Cook and Stephen TaubApril 27, 2007

Royal Ahold has announced that president and chief executive officer Anders Moberg will leave the company, effective July 1, to pursue other interests. Upon Moberg’s departure, chief financial officer John Rishton will serve as acting president and CEO while retaining his CFO duties.

Moberg joined the company in 2003 when the Dutch food conglomerate was embroiled in a massive accounting scandal, and “made a great contribution to restoring the health of Ahold,” said René Dahan, chairman of the company’s supervisory board, in a press release. “With this achieved, and the strategy for Ahold’s future profitable growth in place, now is a good time for new leadership to be appointed to take the company through its next set of challenges and opportunities,” added Dahan.

A British national, Rishton became executive vice president and CFO in January 2006. He is the former finance chief of British Airways, where he spent 11 years. According to the UK’s Evening Standard, Rishton was considered one of the architects of the airline’s dramatic turnaround but quit in September 2005, reportedly after being passed over for the top job.

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As for Ahold, the company expects to announce a final decision on succession “in the latter part of 2007.”