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SALISBURY, N.C. -- Earlier this year, Food Lion launched an aggressive streamlining initiative and announced $100 million in budget cuts through the elimination of redundancies and non-value added programs. Food Lion is reinvesting much of these cost savings in its low price leadership strategy, a philosophy that has fueled the company's growth for more than more than 45 years and has positioned it well in highly competitive markets. Now, Food Lion has named Michael J. Haaf s.v.p. of sales and marketing.
In this newly created position, Haaf will direct all of Food Lion's marketing endeavors, including advertising, marketing research, sponsorships, the MVP customer loyalty card program and corporate communications. This organizational structure includes a realignment of media relations staff, which now report to marketing to ensure stronger integrated communication.
Haaf comes to Food Lion from Office Depot Inc., where he served as e.v.p. of marketing. At Office Deport, he directed a re-launch of the company brand and implemented strategies to identify, capture and profitably grow customer its base, through retail, Internet and call center sales.
Prior to Office Depot, Haaf was s.v.p. of marketing at First USA Bank N.A. He played a key role in First USA Bank becoming the world's largest issuer of Visa cards and improved the bank's direct marketing through research, modeling, targeting and testing.
"With the investment reallocation steps we took earlier this year, coupled with the changes we are making in marketing, it is clear we are serious about driving sales. For that reason, we are delighted to have someone of Mike Haaf's credentials join our team," said Rick Anicetti, president and c.e.o. of Food Lion. "His expertise will be invaluable, as we pursue highly aggressive marketing efforts."
Haaf's career also includes positions with Haemonetics Corp., KPMG LLP, and General Electric.
Haaf and his family will relocate to North Carolina from Boca Raton, Fla. He holds a master's in business administration in finance from Columbia University and a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering from Fairleigh Dickinson University.
Food Lion LLC., is a subsidiary of Delhaize America, the U.S. division of Brussels-based Delhaize Group (NYSE: DEG). Food Lion operates more than 1,185 stores and employs 84,000 associates, delivering "Extra Low Prices" and service to its customers, in 11 Southeast and Mid-Atlantic states. Food Lion stores offer more than 24,000 different products.