Head of Operations AIR Lab

NLD-Zaandam, Provincialeweg 11
Je gaat werken bij

Jouw nieuwe baan en werkplek

As Head of Operations AIR Lab, you make a difference in redefining retail through technology at our AI for Retail Lab.

In short: we are looking for a communicative passionate techlover with a proven track record in driving innovation from great idea towards implementation. As Head of Operations AIR Lab you are responsible for driving innovation for our daily business at Ahold Delhaize. You master the process of innovation and understand how to leverage state of the art technology in our brands cross the globe The Netherlands (Albert Heijn, Etos, etc), Romania, Serbia etc.  You stimulate the execution of our innovation projects and you connect our projects to our research and development strategy. In doing so, you grow a balanced portfolio of short- and long term projects. The goal? Redefining retail through technology through all of our international organizations.


In more detail: at our AI for Retail Lab (AIR Lab) new technological solutions are explored and developed, and talent is attracted, developed and retained. You manage a wide variety of innovation projects, control budgets and ensure timelines are met and products are delivered as agreed upon (or earlier ;)). It is your job to manage, mentor and develop a hybrid team of staff, interns and lab assistants to study new problem areas for which solutions haven’t yet been found, and to build and test for example robotic prototypes. To do this job well, perfect stakeholder management and an innovative mindset is key. You like being challenged!


You make an impact as Head of Operations AIR Lab at Ahold Delhaize by:


  • executing a global, aspirational innovation and research and development agenda in the area of AI and robotics. It is your responsibility to prioritize projects and align with our brands' stakeholders to understand their needs and drivers.
  • managing your own innovation projects and overseeing projects led by others by monitoring progress and output.
  • attracting, managing and developing a team of talented management trainees and interns, who work on innovative AI and robotics projects.
  • letting research and development and innovation grow throughout our organization in a sustainable way.
  • communicating and aligning with stakeholders and projects leaders throughout the ideation lifecycle.


Your new office.
As Head of Operations AIR Lab, you will be working at Ahold Delhaize. Approximately 370,000 employees worldwide serve over 50 million customers a week. By working together to improve every day and through innovation, we reinforce our role as a leader in retail and e-commerce. This is also how we build on trusted local brands. Strong brands that offer a great deal of knowledge, experience and impact.


You will find your new workplace at our AI for Retail (AIR) Lab. The AIR lab has locations in Delft and Amsterdam, but you will be based in Delft, the Netherlands. This facility is an expansion of Ahold Delhaize’s AIR Lab in Amsterdam and has been created in partnership with Delft University. The focus of the lab is to research the future of robotics and develop state-of-the-art innovations in the retail industry. However, due to COVID-19, we currently still work from home as much as possible.


AIR Lab's mission is as follows:

  • We help to improve today’s business through fast problem solving.
  • We enable tomorrow by actively facilitating effective execution of the AI/robotics solutions.
  • We contribute to define the future by continuously working on the development of groundbreaking solutions. 


Everything you do with your colleagues is directly visible in our stores and for people at home. Curious who you will be working with directly? In the AIR Lab you will work together with a team of international students, startups, researchers and our existing partners. You will mentor two sidekicks (AIR Lab Assistants) who support you in your research and innovations projects in the lab. Together you will work on challenges in our warehouses, stores and when delivering products to our customers. You and your sidekicks come up with new, fresh and wild solutions for an opportunity that has been detected on the work floor. You help your sidekicks with testing the prototypes, to see which one works and which one doesn’t. This helps us to be more relevant for our customers.

Dit bieden we jou

Here at Ahold Delhaize we aim to grow. This is only possible if you grow along with us. That’s why we help you take your career and personal development in the direction you want to go. As we work together to build on our brand as well as your career, you can count on (based on 40 hours per week):

  • a gross monthly salary of up to €6.250,-.
  • flexible working hours and the option to work from home.
  • an excellent pension plan with an employee contribution of 6.2%.
  • twenty vacation days.
  • a personal budget for you to decide whether to spend it on extra vacation days (+12,5 days), discounts or a payout.
  • a bonus on top of your salary.
  • attractive discounts on various insurance policies.
  • a laptop and phone.
  • a 10%-discount on your groceries at our Albert Heijn stores up to €300 per year.

Dit breng je mee

At Ahold Delhaize, you’ll be working for one of the biggest retailers in the world. You are bursting with ambition to keep up with us. And specifically for this vacancy as a Head of Operations AIR Lab, you are a real entrepreneur, always looking for opportunities, and you have the balls to seize these opportunities when you see them pass by. You supplement these skills with:


  • a bachelor’s or master's degree from a relevant education such as Engineering, Technology, Robotics or Innovative Management.
  • excellent English communication skills (verbal and writing).
  • work experience at a startup company is preferred.
  • Multiple years of relevant work experience with technological developments.
  • the ability to take the right actions, when given a budget responsibility.
  • the ability to build effective relationships with colleagues and stakeholders to get the projects done properly.



Seeing is believing. This is true in our stores, as well as in our AI for Retail (AIR) Lab in Delft. It could be your new workplace, where you, as Head of Operations AIR Lab, have influence over the most renowned retail markets in the Netherlands. Apply now!


In addition, we would like to ask you not to send a standard motivation letter, but to formulate an answer to the following questions:


  • In which context did you underdevelop your skills? Why?
  • Why do you think you will be successful in this position? Please avoid words which are already in the vacancy text, make it personal.
  • Shortly outline how you would balance an innovation portfolio in practice.
  • Give us an example of your ability to adapt.

Want to know more before you apply for our role at Ahold Delhaize? Pleun Vroom, Manager Talent Acquisition, is happy to tell you everything about this vacancy via pleun.vroom@aholddelhaize.com.

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