The sudden departure of Karl Heinz Holland (chairman of the board) and David Jaschok (international purchase director) had left Lidl largely incapacitated, but the group has reacted swiftly and appointed Sven Seidel as its newest CEO.
Reasons for departure unknown
The actual reason of both managers' departure is still unknown, and the German discounter has given the usual "difference in vision about policy" answer. It is also still unclear whether both departures are somehow linked. Lebensmittel Zeitung believes Holland did not accept Jaschok’s resignation, as he was only part of the upper management since last year.
Apparently, Jaschok was let go last week, which Holland did not agree with and the executive director would have clashed about it with Klaus Gehrig, who runs Schwarz Gruppe, Lidl’s parent company. Apparently, Holland has not survived that clash intact, despite being part of the multinational for years.
Holland (46) had worked for Lidl for over 23 years, with 12 years as part of management and its chairman since October 2008. He is widely praised for his part in Lidl’s European expansion, which apparently is on the verge of an entry in the United States.
His appointment as chairman of the board in 2008 was the end of a period of instability for Lidl, when his predecessor (Wilfried Oskierski) suddenly had to leave – allegedly because he was held responsible for the infamous ‘spygate’ scandal where Lidl illegitimately checked up on employees, but Lidl has always denied this connection.
After a 6 year period of stability, Holland’s (forced?) departure will probably create issues again, as Lebensmittel Zeitung describes him as competent, well-informed, dependable and as an excellent purchaser, which is why Holland’s departure is considered to be a big surprise.