Berlin-based online platform for fashion and lifestyle, Zalando’s co-CEO Rubin Ritter has informed Cristina Stenbeck, Chairperson of the Supervisory Board, that he intends to step down from his role as Co-CEO at the annual general meeting in 2021, which should be around May.
Cristina Stenbeck announced that the Supervisory Board will work together with Ritter to dissolve his contract, which as of today runs until November 2023.
Robert Gentz and David Schneider will continue to lead Zalando as co-CEOs after Ritter’s departure.
In Rubin Ritter’s own words
Speaking on his decision to part ways with Zalando, Rubin Ritter says, “My decision is the result of many months of careful consideration. After more than 11 amazing years where Zalando has been my priority, I feel that it is time to give my life a new direction. I want to devote more time to my growing family. My wife and I have agreed that for the coming years, her professional ambitions should take priority. And regarding my own future, I am eager to allow myself time to explore new interests beyond Zalando.”
“I have always felt that being a part of the Zalando team is a gift and a privilege, and it will be incredibly hard for me to leave it behind. I will be transitioning out of my role at a time where the company continues to accelerate and remains uniquely positioned for future success,” Ritter further adds.
A little about Ritter and his work at Zalando
Rubin is co-CEO of Zalando and has been a member of the Management Board at Zalando since he joined the company in 2010. He is responsible for strategy and communications.
From 2007 to 2009, Rubin worked at McKinsey & Company as a senior associate. He graduated from the WHU – Otto-Beisheim Graduate School of Management in 2007 with a degree in Business Administration. In 2006, he was awarded an MBA from the University of Texas (USA).
Since 2010, Robert Gentz, David Schneider, and Rubin Ritter have led Zalando as a team of three Co-CEOs. During that time, Zalando claims to grow from a startup to Europe’s leading online platform for fashion and lifestyle. It also has 14,000 employees and is on its way to achieving more than €10B Gross Merchandise Volume in 2020.
Cristina Stenbeck, Chairperson of the Supervisory Board, says, “While the supervisory board regretted Ritter’s decision, it respected his motivation and appreciated his transparency that gave the company ample time to secure the next steps of this management transition.”
Speaking about Ritter, Robert Gentz, Co-CEO, says “When we started to ship the first shoes to our customers from the basement of our office, we did not know where the journey would lead us. It is impossible to overstate Rubin’s impact on Zalando’s success. We will miss him dearly as a strategic thinker and leader.”
While this is what David Schneider, Co-CEO, had to say about Ritter’s departure: “Rubin always has been a role model to many in the company. We owe him a lot as a business partner and friend. I am sure that he will stay closely connected to Zalando.”
Founded in Berlin in 2008, Zalando is an online platform for fashion and lifestyle. The company claims to bring head-to-toe fashion to more than 35 million active customers in 17 markets, offering clothing, footwear, accessories, and beauty.
The platform offers international brands ranges from world-famous names to local labels. The company aims to become ‘The Starting Point’ for fashion and a sustainable platform with a net-positive impact for people and the planet.
According to the company, it achieved exceptional profitable growth in the third quarter of 2020. Gross Merchandise Volume (GMV) and revenue grew by 29.9 percent and 21.6 percent to €2.5B and €1.8B, respectively.
Zalando attributes this growth to the accelerated consumer demand shift towards digital offerings in the course of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, as well as the strong performance of Zalando’s Partner Program and Zalando Lounge. It also achieved an adjusted EBIT of €118.2M or a margin of 6.4 per cent, in the same period.
The company also raised its outlook for the 2020 financial year after exceptionally strong and profitable growth in the third quarter. The company now expects gross merchandise volume (GMV) to grow 25-27 percent, revenues to grow 20-22 percent, and an adjusted EBIT of €375M – €425M.