Power struggle at Schwarz-Gruppe (Lidl): CEO Klaus Gehrig forced to resign


Klaus Gehrig, the top executive at Schwarz-Gruppe, the holding company above Lidl and Kaufland, has to resign after a disagreement with owner Dieter Schwarz, who is taking the helm himself for the time being.


Surprising dismissal

The 73-year-old Klaus Gehrig surprisingly handed in his resignation on Friday after a conflict with billionaire and owner Dieter Schwarz over a personnel issue, the Schwarz-Gruppe announced on Friday. Gehrig is considered the architect of the retail group around Lidl and Kaufland. He turned the group into one of the largest retailers in the world, with a turnover of more than 125 billion euros.

In an announcement, Dieter Schwarz thanked his top man Gehrig for the great work he had done in building up the company in recent years. The 81-year-old Schwarz is now taking over the operational management himself until successor Gerd Chrzanowski - who is being prepared for the top post since March last year - can take over the mandate.

According to German business magazine Manager Magazin, Gehrig caused resentment at headquarters because he often appointed young women to top positions and also allegedly blocked the promotion of his designated successor Chrzanowski.