Giant Food Inc.'s corporate parent yesterday announced it will move its U.S. headquarters from Atlanta to Northern Virginia.
Royal Ahold NV, the Dutch conglomerate that last year bought the Landover-based grocery chain, said it will move 65 executive and administrative jobs to the Westfields office park near Route 28 in Chantilly by late summer. Most of its existing Atlanta employees will transfer to the new site. The move aims to bring those workers closer to Giant and the four other U.S. grocery chains they oversee.
Ahold spokesman Hans Gobes said Atlanta made little sense as a U.S. headquarters because the bulk of the company's operations are located from Washington on north. Executives in Atlanta and in the Netherlands also liked the idea of having offices close to Dulles International Airport because they frequently travel.
"It's the perfect location," Gobes said.
Asked whether having the Ahold executives so close to Giant's headquarters could lead to additional corporate meddling, Gobes responded, "Absolutely not."
"Giant is doing very, very well," he said. "It's doing above expectations. Yes, it's nice to be close. But at the same time, they have excellent management."
In addition to Giant, Royal Ahold's U.S. holdings include the similarly named Giant Food Stores Inc. in Pennsylvania, Stop & Shop in New England, Tops in northwestern New York and BI-LO in the Carolinas.