A top executive at one of Europe’s biggest footwear and apparel e-commerce companies is stepping down from his post to allow his wife’s career to “take priority.”
Zalando announced on Sunday that its co-CEO Rubin Ritter has informed chairman of the supervisory board Cristina Stenbeck about his intention to exit next year. According to the Berlin-based business, the board will work with Ritter to “dissolve” his contract, which initially ran through November 2023.
In a statement yesterday, the executive explained that his decision followed “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,” he wrote. “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.”
He added, “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. Zalando has allowed me to be part of a stunning success story that has exceeded my wildest dreams. I will be transitioning out of my role at a time where the company continues to accelerate and remains uniquely positioned for future success.”
The statement offered no further details about Ritter’s partner or her career. Since 2010, Zalando has been led by a team of three co-CEOs: Robert Gentz, David Schneider and Rubin Ritter. Gentz and Schneider will continue to lead Zalando as co-CEOs after Ritter’s departure.
“While the supervisory board clearly regrets Rubin’s decision, we have the highest respect for the underlying personal motivation, and we greatly appreciate his transparency and openness in giving the board and the company ample time until his departure to secure the next steps of this management transition,” Steinbeck said.
Founded in 2008, Zalando has expanded from a startup to roughly 14,000 employees. The company — which sells clothing and shoes from brands like Nike, Versace and The North Face — has seen more than 10 billion euros in gross merchandise volume this year.