(Oct. 17) Dutch food retailer Royal Ahold NV has appointed a new chief executive for its Columbia, Md.-based U.S. Foodservice subsidiary.

Lawrence Benjamin succeeds Jim Miller, who resigned in early May in the wake of an accounting scandal that has cost Royal Ahold more than $1 billion.

Since the company reported accounting irregularities in February, it was revealed that U.S. Foodservice overstated profits by $880 million over three years. Earnings restatements by Dec. 28, Ahold said, would clear $700 million in the subsidiary’s assets and increase liabilities by $290 million.

Anders Moberg, Ahold chief executive officer, said in a news release that Benjamin would “play a key role in rebuilding and maximizing the value of the company.”

Benjamin will start Nov. 1, according to the release. He joins U.S. Foodservice from the Chicago-based NutraSweet Co., where he was the chief executive for one year.

Before his appointment at NutraSweet, Benjamin was the president and chief executive at Stella Foods from 1994-97, and he served in the same capacity at Specialty Foods Corp. from 1997-2001. Oak Hill Capital Management Inc. owns both companies.

Benjamin increased earnings at Stella and Specialty Foods by 40% and 87%, respectively, according to a news release. He also increased profits for a division of Kraft Foods, where he worked for eight years before he came to Oak Hill.

“He has an excellent reputation for turning around and rebuilding companies in crisis and has successfully directed important recovery processes,” Moberg said in the U.S. Foodservice release. “Recently the focus of U.S. Foodservice has necessarily been on cleaning up the business.

“Larry’s leadership and background perfectly complement our strategy.”

Moberg told shareholders Sept. 5 that Ahold had no immediate plans to sell U.S. Foodservice, which has captured 11% of the $160 billion foodservice market in the U.S.