German retail giant Metro Group has decided to create a CEO role for its entire Real hypermarket operations.

The retailer said Didier Fleury, CEO of its Real International business, will take up the newly-created position with immediate effect. The role was previously split, with Fleury heading up the international division and Roland Neuwald leading the Germany operations. 

Neuwald will now move to the role of COO of Real Germany.

A source close to Real told just-food: “Metro wanted to appoint one person for the role of CEO of Real as a whole and they decided on Fleury. This was a decision Metro made based on the fact Didier was part of the Real board and so has a deep insight into Real Group.”

In a statement, Metro said the decision to appoint one CEO for Real was a result of it “bundling its management capacities and thereby further optimising its organisational structures”. The changes are effective immediately.

“Real has taken a good development over the past years: the German business has been new positioned and the international activities have grown to a business with high potential”, said Olaf Koch, CEO of Metro and chairman of the supervisory board for Real. “But we have still some way ahead of us. In order to accelerate the repositioning and to get Real back on a sustainable growth path we have to set up the organisation as efficient and powerful as possible.”

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Fleury has held the position of CEO of Real International since 2008.

“We are convinced that Didier Fleury is exactly the right man for this challenge”, Koch added. “He is a high profile hypermarket expert with decades of international experience in different countries.”

In addition to the CEO change, from 1 October Patrick Müller-Sarmiento, senior partner at Roland Berger Strategy Consultants, will take up the role of managing director of food for Real.

Klaus Sauer, who has held the role since 2007, will assume a new position within Metro Group, which has not yet been disclosed.