CFO Takes Ahold of Food Giant

Now Rishton will be in charge of a new retail business that he co-developed.
Stephen TaubNovember 16, 2007

Ahold CFO John Rishton, who has been acting chief executive since July, has been named officially to the top spot. Deputy chief financial officer Kimberly Ross has been promoted to fill his vacated slot and selected for the company’s corporate executive board.

Rishton, a British national, has made a huge impact since joining the Dutch food-services company in 2006. He was part of a three-person team that performed a comprehensive review of Ahold’s retail businesses and made recommendations that were used as the basis for a new strategic direction announced a year ago.

Rishton’s previous employer was British Airways. After starting as financial controller in the United States in 1994, he worked his way up to sales controller, operations controller, commercial controller, and finally CFO.

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Before British Airways, Rishton worked for Ford Motor in various international executive positions between 1979 and 1994. He currently is nonexecutive director for Rolls Royce, chairing the audit committee and serving on the nominations committee.

Ross, a U.S. national, joined Ahold in 2001 as assistant treasurer. She later became vice president and group treasurer, senior vice president and group treasurer, and senior vice president and chief treasury and tax officer.

Soon after joining Ahold, Ross relocated the company’s treasury operations to Geneva. She is also credited with helping to implement measures to ensure Ahold’s financial stability following the company’s 2003 accounting scandal.

Ross’s previous employers included Ernst & Young and Joseph E. Seagram & Sons.