GERMANY: Metro cash & carry CEO Muller leaves amid restructure
By Michelle Russell | 18 March 2013
The CEO of Metro Group's cash and carry business, Frans Muller, is to step down as part of efforts to streamline its top management.
Metro said today (18 March) that chairman and chief executive Olaf Koch will assume operational responsibility for the unit following a consolidation of the division with the operations of the main group.
The retailer said the decision was made by Metro's supervisory board and underlines the "high strategic significance" of the cash and carry business for the group, which it said is the segment with the highest sales and earnings.
As a result, Muller will leave the company by "mutual agreement" on 31 March, Metro said.
"Metro Group and Metro Cash & Carry owe a lot to Frans Muller," said Franz Markus Haniel, chairman of the supervisory board. "Since 2002, he has made a significant contribution to the development of Metro Cash & Carry and the reorganisation of its business."
Haniel said that by combining the management of the group and that of its main sales line, it is "streamlining" its decision-making processes and creating "a more direct management structure".
As a result of the change, CFO Mark Frese will take over responsibility for Metro's department store chain Galeria Kaufhof, real estate entity Metro Properties, and investor relations from Koch.
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CEO Koch to head cash & carry business
CEO Koch to head cash & carry business
METRO GROUP is simplifying the organisation of its top management: CEO Olaf Koch will now assume operational responsibility for the business segment with the highest sales and earnings, METRO Cash & Carry. This decision was made by the company's Supervisory Board, and it underlines the high strategic significance of the cash & carry business for the Group. Since the positions of CEO of METRO AGand CEO of METRO Cash & Carry are to be consolidated, the present CEO ofMETRO Cash & Carry, Frans W.H. Muller, will leave the company by mutual agreement, effective 31 March 2013.
"METRO GROUP and METRO Cash & Carry owe a lot to Frans Muller", said the Chairman of the Supervisory Board of METRO AG, Franz Markus Haniel. "Since 2002, he has made a significant contribution to the development of METRO Cash & Carryand the reorganisation of its business. The Supervisory Board and the Management Board of METRO GROUP would like to thank Frans Muller for his commitment, his achievements and his loyalty to the company. His contribution in 2012 was particularly strong, where he played a decisive role in initiating the fundamental repositioning of METRO Cash & Carry."
Haniel drew attention to the strategic impact of this structural change in the company's top management: "METRO Cash & Carry is the engine and growth driver of the Group and its significance is now also reflected in the Management Board's new structure. By combining the management of the Group and that of its main sales line, we are streamlining our decision-making processes and creating a more direct management structure".
Due to Olaf Koch's new role, further functional responsibilities will be transferred within the Management Board of METRO AG: CFO Mark Frese will take over responsibility for Galeria Kaufhof, the real estate entity, METRO Properties, and Investor Relations from Olaf Koch on the Board, while CHRO Heiko Hutmacher will in future be responsible for Group Internal Audit. Furthermore, Board responsibility for IT and thus METRO Systems, will shift from Mark Frese to Pieter Haas, the new Management Board member for Media-Saturn and Business Innovation.
Frans Muller joined Metro in 1997, first as Operations Director, and then as managing director of the Dutch subsidiary Makro. From 2002 to 2005, he served as a member of the Executive Board of Directors of METRO Cash & Carry International, with responsibility for business in Eastern Europe / CIS, and later for the zone Asia / CIS. During this period, he was instrumental in the international expansion of the company. He took over the management of the then Metro buying entity, MGB, in September 2005. In this position was appointed to the Management Board ofMETRO AG in 2006. Since 2008, Frans Muller has served as CEO ofMETRO Cash & Carry, taking responsibility for the group's real estate activities from 2010 until early 2012.
Original source: Metro Group