Rubin Ritter, who has been the Co-chief Executive of German online fashion company Zalando since 2010, will step down next year, leaving Robert Gentz and David Schneider to continue to lead the company as co-CEOs.
Founded in Berlin by Gentz and Schneider in 2008, Zalando has quickly grown to become Europe’s biggest online-only fashion retailer, serving 35 million active customers in 17 countries.
Ritter, responsible for strategy and communications on the management team, said in a statement that he wanted to devote time to his growing family and allow his wife’s professional ambitions to take priority in the coming years. “In my remaining months I will ensure that we continue to rapidly advance the execution of our strategy,” he said.
Ritter’s contract had been due to run until November 2023. Zalando said he would step down at the next annual general meeting, which usually takes place in May.
Zalando chairman Cristina Stenbeck said while the supervisory board regretted Ritter’s decision, it respected his motivation and appreciated his transparency that gave the company enough time to organize the management transition.
Ritter became co-CEO in 2010 alongside Gentz and Schneider but was also finance chief until David Schroeder was given that role last year.
Ritter has been spearheading efforts to improve equality at Zalando, which sells fashion and beauty products in 17 countries. Currently, no women sit on its management board and its gender pay gap is 22% in favor of men, slightly wider than the national average in Germany.
However, in November Ritter said the retailer was progressing towards its goal of achieving balanced representation in its top tiers of management by 2023.
"While transformation takes time, and we are still at the beginning of our journey, our progress indicates that we are moving in the right direction," Ritter said.