OPERATIONS

Delhaize Europe CEO resigns

BY Alaric Dearment

Brussels — The CEO of Delhaize Group’s European division has resigned, effective Oct. 31, the Belgian supermarket operator said.

Delhaize said Stefan Descheemaeker had decided to resign as CEO of Delhaize Europe, though the company did not give a reason. Delhaize said that as a result of Descheemaeker’s departure, Delhaize Group EVP and Delhaize Group Southeast Europe and Asia CEO Kostas Macheras would report directly to group CEO Pierre-Olivier Beckers, as would Delhaize Belgium CEO Dirk Van den Berghe, effective Nov. 1.

"I want to thank Stefan for his significant contribution to the success of Delhaize Europe and Delhaize Group," Beckers said. "In both his former capacity as CFO and then as CEO of Delhaize Europe, Stefan has been an energetic leader who raises the organization’s focus on cash-flow generation and brought the company to a higher level of performance while steadfastly promoting the company values."

Incoming group CEO Frans Muller said he looked forward to working with Macheras and Van den Berghe in developing the company’s European business.

"Equally, I look forward to partnering with our group CFO, Pierre Bouchut, so that we can continue improving the focus and performance of the overall group," Muller said. "This will be amongst my key priorities in addition to working directly with the Delhaize America team while I evaluate and search for the best candidate to fill the Delhaize America CEO role."

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OPERATIONS

Walmart, Lowes and Pacific Business Group on Health launch innovative healthcare program

BY Mike Troy

New York — Walmart and Lowe’s have joined the Pacific Business Group on Health Negotiating Alliance (PBGH-NA) to launch the national Employers Centers of Excellence Network that will offer no-cost knee and hip-replacement surgeries for employees at four highly regarded hospitals in the United States.

PBGH and health care management company Health Design Plus will oversee the program which includes treatment for knee and hip replacement surgeries for the more than 1.5 million employees and their dependents enrolled in the Walmart, Lowe’s and other employers’ medical plans.

The only catch for employees is that they are required to obtain care at one of four designated center of excellence health care organizations: Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center in Baltimore, Md.; Kaiser Permanente Orange County Irvine Medical Center in Irvine, Calif.; Mercy Hospital in Springfield, Mo.; and Virginia Mason Medical Center in Seattle.

“This national program is about providing our associates with exceptional care and reducing their medical costs so that they pay nothing out of pocket when they use one of the designated facilities,” said Sally Welborn, senior VP of global benefits at Walmart. ”Each of these providers has a proven record of practicing evidence-based medicine with above average positive patient outcomes in knee and hip replacement procedures.”

Employees will receive consultations and care covered at 100% without deductible or coinsurance, plus travel, lodging and living expenses for the patient and a caregiver. Patients must be healthy enough to travel for the surgeries. The program is voluntary and employees or their covered dependents can still choose to receive care from local providers and incur routine costs, according to program rules.

According to Lowe’s VP of international human resources Randy Moon, “Under this program, employees and their dependents covered under Lowe’s medical plan have access to medical care at renowned medical facilities at no cost. This is especially important for our employees who live in areas underserved by high quality health care providers. The four healthcare centers are located throughout the U.S., making it easier for employees who wish to use this benefit to travel.”

The national Employers Centers of Excellence Network complements Centers of Excellence programs that Walmart and Lowe’s have and will continue to offer separately from the alliance with PBGH-NA. In 2013, Walmart expanded its long-standing program covering transplants at the Mayo Clinic to also include treatment for certain heart and spine surgeries at five leading hospital and health systems in the U.S., including ECEN providers Virginia Mason and Mercy Springfield, for associates and their covered dependents enrolled in medical plans. 


In 2010, Lowe’s began an alliance with Cleveland Clinic in Cleveland, to provide its full-time employees and their covered dependents enrolled in the company’s self-funded medical plans enhanced benefits coverage for qualifying heart surgery procedures.

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OPERATIONS

OfficeMax introduces new services center

BY Marianne Wilson

Naperville, Ill. — OfficeMax announced that it has launched new Services Center in its stores nationwide to provide business owners the essential operations support they need to grow.

The new center offers an extensive portfolio of more than 40 services designed to relieve administrative burden and assist businesses with critical needs, including web design and maintenance, 24/7 On-Call Tech Support, printing and document management, marketing materials, shipping, credit card and payroll processing, human resource services and legal assistance.

"This new data advances what we found in extensive national research with business owners of all sizes," said Kim Feil, OfficeMax executive VP and chief marketing and strategy officer. "Business owners spend a lot of time conducting support work that, while critical, takes them away from working with their customers and growing their business. They want to refocus their time building their businesses, and they want reliable partners who will address their specific needs. Our new OfficeMax Services Center builds on services we have always provided to give business owners a complete range of essential support, from credit card processing and payroll services to IT support and cloud storage solutions."

Business owners receive guidance from the OfficeMax Services Center staff to personalize their services and bundle services to increase value and savings.

"The introduction of the OfficeMax Services Center expands upon our services evolution. We’re pleased to have our store associates working in partnership with customers to assess customers’ business needs and connect them with the best solutions and services packages to streamline their support functions and, in turn, free up time to focus on business growth," to said Michael Lewis, OfficeMax executive VP and president of retail.

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