Speaker Biographies


Frans  Muller

Frans Muller

Deputy Chief Executive Officer and Chief Integration Officer, Ahold Delhaize


Frans Muller has served as Deputy Chief Executive Officer and Chief Integration Officer of Ahold Delhaize since July 2016. Since October 2016, Delhaize America, including the Food Lion and Hannaford brands, have reported to him on an ad interim basis. Prior to the merger between Ahold and Delhaize, he served as President and CEO of Delhaize Group from 2013.

Prior to joining Delhaize Group, Frans had been with the German retailer Metro AG for more than 15 years. From 2006 until 2013 he was a member of the Metro AG Management Board and in 2008 he was appointed as CEO of Metro Cash & Carry, where he served until 2013. He first joined Metro AG in 1997 as operations director, and then as managing director of its Dutch subsidiary, Makro. In 2002, Frans served as a board member of Metro Cash & Carry International and was appointed regional director for Eastern Europe and Russia. From 2004 to 2005, he served as president for Asia Pacific and Russia/Ukraine. In 2005, Frans was appointed CEO of Metro Group Buying.

Frans joined KLM Cargo in 1988 where he served in various management and executive positions in Amsterdam, Frankfurt, Vienna and Singapore.

Frans is the President of the European Retail Round Table (ERRT and serves on the board of directors at the Food Marketing Institute Inc.

Irmfried Schwimann

Irmfried Schwimann

Deputy Director General, EU Commission


Since March 2016, Ms Irmfried Schwimann has been Deputy Director General in the European Commission's Directorate General for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs. She is responsible for the Modernisation of the Single Market, the Single Market for Public Administration and the COSME Programme.

Previously, Ms Schwimann was Director in the European Commission's Directorate General for Competition; she is responsible for antitrust, merger and state aid control in the financial services sector.

Beforehand, Ms Schwimann was head of DG Competition's financial services antitrust unit (2006-2008) and head of DG Internal Market's Financial Services Policy unit (2003-2006). Ms Schwimann also worked on retail financial services and payment issues within DG Markt (1999-2002) and was a member of Commissioner Bolkestein's Cabinet (2002-2003).
Ms Schwimann studied law at the University of Linz/Austria as well as political science at the Institut d'Etudes Politiques in Paris.

Before joining the Commission, Ms Schwimann worked for the Austrian Ministry of Foreign Affairs (1984-1989) as well as for an Austrian Insurance group (1989-1999).

Ms Schwimann is married and has 3 children.

Tobias Kindler

Tobias Kindler

Vice-President Multichannel Concepts, Media-Saturn


Tobias Kindler, Vice President Multichannel, is responsible for the conceptual design as well as the implementation of digital sales concepts and the combination with the retail stores of the brands Media Markt and Saturn in Europe.

Before he joined the Media-Saturn Group in 2009, he has been employed as a strategy and management consultant for 7 years, nationally as well as internationally. He advised companies in Germany, Great Britain, Australia and in the USA.

He studied Foreign Trade and International Management in Hamburg and Cape Town.

Per Strömberg

Per Strömberg

CEO, ICA Gruppen AB


Mr Strömberg was born in 1963.

He received his Masters of Science in Business and Economics.

He currently is the Industrial Advisor to Segulah Advisor AB and a board member of the Childhood Foundation and En Frisk Generation.

From 2006 to 2007 he was President and Ceo of Sardus and then from 2007 to 2012 he was President and CEO of Lantmännen.

From 1988 to 2006 Mr Strömberg was Managing Director of Kraft Foods Sweden, Managing Director of Kraft Foods Denmark and Director of Business Development at Kraft Foods International in London. He has held various managerial positions at Kraft Freia Marabou, Sweden.

Mr Strömberg was employed at ICA and is a member of ICA’s management team since 2012.

He holds 10,820 shares (incl. related parties).

Kaja  Kallas

Kaja Kallas

MEP, European Parliament


Kaja Kallas is an Estonian politician. She is currently a Member of the European Parliament elected from Estonia and belongs to the Group of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe (ALDE). She has previously worked as an attorney-at-law and been a Member of the Parliament of Estonia (Riigikogu), where she chaired the Economic Affairs Committee. She is also Vice-Chairman of the Estonian Reform Party. As an attorney, she specialised in European and Estonian competition law.

In the European Parliament Kaja Kallas serves on the Committee on Industry, Research and Energy (ITRE) and is Vice-Chair of the Delegation to the EU–Ukraine Parliamentary Cooperation Committee. She is also a substitute for the Committee on the Internal Market and Consumer Protection (IMCO) and the Delegation for Relations with the United States. She was a rapporteur for the jointly drafted strategic report "Towards a Digital Single Market Act" that calls for ambitious action to remove barriers in the digital world as well as to avoid hindering the technological revolution by overregulating the sector.

Werner  Stengg

Werner Stengg

Head of Unit , DG Communication Networks, Content and Technology


Werner Stengg was born January 23rd 1968 in Austria. He completed his doctoral studies at the Vienna University of Economics and Business Administration.

His professional experience within the European institutions is as follows: From 1996 to 1998 he was General Secretariat of the Council of Ministers, Transport Unit.

From 1998 to 2001 he worked in the textiles and clothing unit at DG Enterprise.

From 2001 to 2002 he worked as the assistant to the Deputy General at DG Enterprise.

From 2002 to 2006 he worked in the Evaluation unit of DG Budget.

From 2006 to 2011 he worked as Head of Unit in DG Internal Market and Services, responsible for “Better Regulation Cycle: Impact Assessment and Evaluation”.

From 2011 to 2014 he worked as Head of Unit in DG Internal Market and Services, responsible for “Online and Postal Services”.

From 2014 to 2016 he worked as Head of Unit in DG Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs, responsible for “Public Interest Services”.

Currently Mr Stengg works as Head of Unit in DG Communication Networks, Content and Technology, responsible for “E-Commerce and Platforms”.

Cathy Smith

Cathy Smith

Founding partner of the Brussels communications company, Speak-Easy


Cathy Smith is a founding partner of the Brussels communications company Speak-Easy.

She is an experienced conference moderator as well as media and crisis trainer.

Cathy is a former Brussels-based news correspondent for both the BBC and GMTV and was a main presenter of Channel Four News in the UK. She also presented European Journal for DeutscheWelle TV from Brussels.

Kenneth Bengtsson

Kenneth Bengtsson

Non-Executive President, EuroCommerce


Non-Executive President of EuroCommerce since March 2015, Kenneth Bengtsson began his retail career as a store manager of a local ICA supermarket in the south of Sweden. In 1995, he ran two larger stores in the Stockholm area. After successfully turning the stores into profitable units, he became the head of the hypermarket division of ICA in 1999. The following year, he was promoted to become CEO of ICA Sweden and in 2001, President and CEO of the entire ICA Group.

Apart from this successful career within the ICA Group, Kenneth Bengtsson has held numerous chairmanships. From 2005 to 2010, Kenneth Bengtsson was Chairman of the Board of Svensk Handel. From 2010-2013, he was Chairman of the Board of the Confederation of Swedish Enterprise. Today he is Chairman of the Board of Systembolaget, The World Childhood Foundation, Ersta Diakoni, Clas Ohlson, Ahlsell AB and Mekonomen AB.

His passion for raising awareness and creating possibilities for young entrepreneurs is evident in his membership of King Carl XVI Foundation for Young Leadership, and Prince Daniel’s Fellowship and Entrepreneurial Programmes, as well as his Chairmanship of Young Enterprise Sweden.

Susanne  Czech

Susanne Czech

Director General, European Retail Round Table


Susanne Czech is the Director General of the European Retail Round Table since April 2015. She is in charge of running the organisation and together with its members, proposes and implements its strategic direction.

From 2007 till joining ERRT she has been Secretary General of EMOTA, the European multichannel and online trade association. Prior to joining EMOTA, Ms Czech directed the Single Market and International Affairs Committees at the Comité Européen des Assurances, now renamed as Insurance Europe, in Brussels, after representing, for more than eight years, the interests of the Austrian insurance industry at European and international level from her position as an international affairs manager at VVO, the Austrian Insurance Federation, in Vienna.

Ms Czech graduated from the University of Graz (Austria) as a Doctor of Law.



Tuesday 15 November, 2016
13.30 to 16.00




The Renaissance

Rue du Parnasse 19
1050 Brussels