Koch is replacing Dr Eckhard Cordes, who is expected to step down from the role of CEO in October

Koch is replacing Dr Eckhard Cordes, who is expected to step down from the role of CEO in October

Metro Group CFO Olaf Koch is being lined up to replace Dr Eckhard Cordes as chairman of the German retail's management board.

After weeks of speculation, Metro announced on Friday (18 November) that he is expected to replace Cordes next October. Cordes' contract was up for renewal next year but he decided last month to leave Metro after receiving a vote of no confidence from the retailer's supervisory board. Cordes will step down when his contract runs out in October and he is expected to leave Metro two months later.

Last week, it was reported that the Metro supervisory board was split over who should replace Cordes. Koch and Joël Saveuse, CEO of Metro's Cash & Carry and Real divisions, had reportedly been lined up to as potential candidates succeed Cordes.

Franz Markus Haniel, who, alongside the announcement of Koch's appointment, was named as the new chairman of Metro's supervisory board, thanked Saveuse for not standing as a candidate. Saveuse, Haniel said, "put the interests of the company at the focus and thereby allowed for a constructive solution".

Haniel is the head of one of Metro's key shareholders Haniel, the German industrial conglomerate, and he succeeds Professor Dr Jürgen Kluge who announced his resignation last month, to give the German retailer a "fresh start". Haniel was previously chairman of Metro's supervisory board during November 2007 to May 2010.

Reflecting on Koch's appointment, Mr Haniel said: "We are pleased that, with Olaf Koch, we found a chairman of the management board who symbolises a timely transfer to a new generation and thus continuity in management. Moreover, he has demonstrated that he is driving the changes required for the company's long-term success in close cooperation with the sales divisions."

Metro's supervisory board plans to consider Koch's successor as CFO at a meeting on 16 December.