Dick Boer: New Number 1 in Top-100 Non-Executive Directors

Dick Boer: New Number 1 in Top-100 Non-Executive Directors
After three years, the Top 100 Non-Executive Directors has a new number 1: former Ahold Delhaize CEO Dick Boer (1957). He was already a supervisory director at Shell and SHV, among others, and was already in the top-10, but his new chairmanship of the supervisory board of Just Eat Takeaway gave him the top spot in the list.

A retail man at heart: Dick Boer (a grocer's son) started his career after completing his studies at the HEAO (School for Higher Education in Economics and Management) in Breda with retail positions at Unigro and SHV. He subsequently spent two decades at Ahold. He started out as CFO of Ahold Czech Republic, became the boss of supermarket chain Albert Heijn, helping it overcome the difficult years during and after the accounting scandal, and has been CEO of parent company Ahold since 2011.

Merger talks at the bedside of Jan Hommen
After Ahold merged with Belgian company Delhaize in 2016, he served as CEO for two years. Discussing the collaboration with then Supervisory Board Chair Jan Hommen during the establishment of the merger, Boer told Management Scope at the time, “From the moment the merger with Delhaize came into play, we pestered each other at the most unusual times: At weekends, late at night... at the craziest times.” Hommen added: “While I was recovering from an operation, the Praesidium of Dick and Frans (Frans Muller, then CEO of Delhaize, now CEO of Ahold Delhaize) came in to have a meeting at my bedside! That was quite special.”

Bad news travels fast
Boer now sits on the other side of the table and serves as a supervisor himself: At Just Eat Takeaway (Chair), family concern SHV Holdings, food giant Nestlé and oil and gas company Shell. Boer's other positions include being Chair of the Board of the Rijksmuseum Fund and Supervisory Board Chair of the Concertgebouw. As he mentioned in a recent interview for this magazine, Boer has noticed that many companies are struggling to communicate their social ambitions to stakeholders. “To the outside world, things never happen fast enough. Besides, good news does not travel, bad news travels fast. Unfortunately, negative news often gets the most attention. A dialogue with all stakeholders about wishes, expectations and concrete actions should help prevent that. In turn, it requires an “understanding of what your stakeholders want and consideration for their interests”. Boer envisions a role for Non-Executives in that respect and will be able to implement that role in all four of his supervisory positions to his heart's content. 

This article was last changed on 14-12-2022