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Fashion boss announces plans to step down, says it is time to prioritize wife's career

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Key Points
  • Rubin Ritter, who has worked as co-chief of Zalando since 2010, said Sunday that he intends to leave his role at the next annual general meeting in May 2021.
  • Robert Gentz and David Schneider will continue to lead Zalando as co-CEOs after Ritter's departure.
Rubin Ritter, member of the management board at Zalando SE, gestures whilst speaking during an interview at the online retailer's technology headquarters in Berlin, Germany, on Monday, Sept. 26, 2016.
Krisztian Bocsi | Bloomberg via Getty Images

LONDON — A co-CEO of Europe's largest online fashion and lifestyle site has announced plans to step down next year, saying he and his wife have agreed that her professional ambitions should take priority.

Rubin Ritter, who has worked as co-chief of Zalando since 2010, said Sunday that he intends to leave his role at the next annual general meeting in May 2021.

"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," Ritter said in a statement.

"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," he added.

Ritter said he plans to quit in order to pursue "new interests beyond Zalando," cutting short a contract that currently runs through to November 2023.

Robert Gentz and David Schneider will continue to lead Zalando as co-CEOs after Ritter's departure.

The Zalando logo is seen on a building in the district of Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg in Berlin, Germany
Emmanuele Contini | NurPhoto | Getty Images

Gentz, Schneider and Ritter have all led the company since 2010. In that time, the Berlin-based start-up has emerged as Europe's leading online fashion and lifestyle platform, with 35 million active customers in 17 markets.

Zalando recorded revenue of 1.85 billion euros ($2.24 billion) in the third quarter and upgraded its full-year guidance on the back of robust profitable growth.

Shares of Zalando are up more than 74% year-to-date.

"It is impossible to overstate Rubin's impact on Zalando's success. We will miss him dearly as a strategic thinker and leader," Gentz said in a statement.

"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," Schneider added.