Wal-Mart Canada, which is aggressively expanding, on Friday named Dirk Van den Berghe president and chief executive officer. Van den Berghe will begin on Aug. 1, reporting to Shelley Broader, who was recently promoted to president and ceo of Wal-Mart Stores Inc.’s EMEA region, which comprises the retailer’s operations in Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Canada.

Van den Berghe has 30 years of international experience in Europe, the U.S. and Asia. Prior to joining Wal-Mart, Van den Berghe worked at the Delhaize Group, a global food retailer with operations in eight countries and three continents. He was most recently ceo for Delhaize’s Belgium and Luxembourg operations.

“Under Dirk’s leadership, Delhaize has been successful in several countries,” Broader said. “His vast experience will allow us to strengthen our growing food business in Canada and complements our highly-successful general merchandise operation. One of Wal-Mart’s greatest strengths is having exceptional leaders to drive our continued growth, and Dirk is a prime example of this talent.”

“Wal-Mart Canada is a remarkable and intensely customer-focused business with a track record of growth and performance,” said Van den Berghe, who will oversee 400 stores and the Canadian chain’s online business, walmart.ca.

Wal-Mart Canada, which is celebrating its 20th anniversary, has been girding itself against an assault by Target Corp. The Canadian market has become more competitive with the arrival of Target’s 124 stores last year. Wal-Mart, which entered the market in 1994, is part of the Canadian retail fabric, ranked as one of the country’s top-10 most influential brands. With 95,000 associates, it’s one of Canada’s largest employers.

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