Food Lion parent will outsource technology jobs in Salisbury to IBM

  • Posted: Wednesday, October 16, 2013 2:30 p.m.

By Emily Ford

SALISBURY — Twenty-nine jobs at Delhaize America’s Salisbury headquarters are going to IBM as part of a deal to outsource some technology functions of Food Lion’s parent company.

A total of 58 Delhaize employees — half in Salisbury and half in Scarborough, Maine — will move to IBM, according to a spokeswoman for Delhaize. About 80 workers will be affected by the change. All of them will be offered employment with IBM for at least six months, according to an internal Delhaize memo that was distributed last week.

All affected associates will have the opportunity to apply for permanent positions with IBM or receive severance, Delhaize said.

“Delhaize America has made the decision to outsource a small number of functions within the Information Technology department,” spokeswoman Christy Phillips-Brown said. “We believe outsourcing these functions to trusted partners will enable us to utilize the technology industry’s best providers of these services and further deliver innovation for our customers and associates.”

Delhaize is outsourcing its data center operations to IBM, according to the memo.

“While these decisions are never easy, we have taken great care to ensure that all associates affected by this decision are treated with respect throughout the entire transition process,” Phillips-Brown told the Post in a statement.

The memo said Delhaize is considering outsourcing its network services, help desk and desktop support functions by year-end but has not finalized those plans.

The outsourcing comes on the heels of executive-level upheaval at Delhaize, where the CEO of Delhaize Europe recently resigned. Stéfan Descheemaeker’s departure came shortly after the CEO of Delhaize America also quit. Roland Smith, whose job was based in Salisbury, left the company after Frans Muller was tapped for the top Delhaize Group CEO job, which Smith reportedly wanted.

Delhaize could lose a third senior executive soon. Retail and grocery industry websites in the United States and Europe and a French newspaper are reporting that Pierre Bouchut, Delhaize Group’s chief financial officer, is apparently the top candidate for the CFO job at Veolia, the world’s largest water and waste management company.

Delhaize has sold three of Food Lion’s sister grocery chains to Bi-Lo — Sweetbay, Reid’s and Harveys. Bi-Lo announced last week that it will convert the Sweetbay stores to Winn-Dixies and rename the Reid’s stores as Bi-Lo.

Contact reporter Emily Ford at 704-797-4264.

Notice about comments: is pleased to offer readers the ability to comment on stories. We expect our readers to engage in lively, yet civil discourse. cannot promise that readers will not occasionally find offensive or inaccurate comments posted in the comments area. Responsibility for the statements posted lies with the person submitting the comment, not If you find a comment that is objectionable, please click "report abuse" and we will review it for possible removal. Please be reminded, however, that in accordance with our Terms of Use and federal law, we are under no obligation to remove any third party comments posted on our website. Full terms and conditions can be read here.

Do not post the following:

  • Potentially libelous statements or damaging innuendo.
  • Obscene, explicit, or racist language.
  • Personal attacks, insults or threats.
  • The use of another person's real name to disguise your identity.
  • Comments unrelated to the story.