Olaf Koch, CEO of German retailer Metro, is resigning at the end of the year. As he will not complete his current term that only ends in 2022, the German retail giant will have to quickly start looking for a successor.
A year early
The move came as a surprise for the supervisory board, which according to German Manager Magazin stresses that there was no pressure involved and that it was fully his own decision. Still, the board announced it accepted the decision – with regret.
The reasons behind the resignation are as of yet unclear, but may be related to personal reasons (some say Koch never felt at home in Metro’s headquarter base Düsseldorf) or to the criticism from Metro’s new strong man Daniel Kretinsky. The Czech billionaire has had a stake in Metro since 2018 and currently holds a third of all the shares after a failed takeover attempt.
Koch led the company through its painful separation from its electronics branch Ceconomy (Media Markt, Saturn) and under his leadership, the company transformed into a wholesaler – especially with the divestment of supermarket chain Real.