Metro AG CEO Olaf Koch To Step Down At The End Of The Year
German wholesaler Metro AG has announced that CEO Olaf Koch will step down from the position at the end of this year.
On Friday (21 August), Koch informed the supervisory board of his decision to not renew his contract beyond 31 December 2020.
He was to lead the company until at least March 2022.
The supervisory board approved the mutual termination of Koch's contract as of 31 December 2020 at an extraordinary meeting held yesterday (23 August).
Chairman of Metro’s supervisory board, Jürgen Steinemann, commented, "The supervisory board has accepted with regret the decision by Olaf Koch not to be available for a further extension of his term.
“Olaf Koch will, therefore, be released from his obligations as CEO of Metro AG as of 31 December 2020."
Koch joined the management board of the company in 2009 and was appointed as the CEO of Metro AG in January 2012.
'An Intensive But Rewarding Marathon'
He described his stint with Metro AG as “an intensive but rewarding marathon” and said, “After eleven years on the board of Metro AG, including almost nine years as CEO, we have achieved a major objective in transforming Metro from a conglomerate into a specialised and innovative food wholesaler.”
“The decision was not easy for me after working for more than a decade with a great team and having established so many valuable relationships with customers and business partners, but I think that the start of this new phase for the company is a good time for me to step down,” he added.
In recent years, Olaf Koch guided Metro AG's core business of professional wholesaling to HoReCa and independent traders.
He was responsible for turning the business by focusing on local needs and the expansion of services and implementation of digital solutions.
Under his leadership, Galeria Kaufhof, Media Markt and hypermarket chain Real were either sold or spun off helping the company achieve a debt reduction of over €7 billion.
'A Big Impact'
Steinemann commented, "Olaf Koch has had a big impact on the company in recent years, be it in the transformation to a fully focused wholesaler, the company’s digitalisation and customer orientation, or the strengthening of the employee community in 34 countries through his open and direct communication.
“Thanks to this positioning, the strength of our balance sheet and the commitment of our employees, especially in our stores, Metro has so far come through the difficult COVID-19 period in a reassuringly stable manner."
The company’s presidential committee will start an orderly process under the leadership of the supervisory board Chairman to select a new CEO, Metro added.
Koch added that he plans to actively support the transition period until the end of the year.
“Stability is very important in times of COVID-19, so I want to make sure that the handover is as successful and smooth as possible. Safeguarding the interests of the company, employees and customers is the most important thing,” he explained.