Press Releases

Generation change: Real to have dual leadership in the future – Didier Fleury to have new role in the METRO GROUP


  • Henning Gieseke and Patrick Müller-Sarmiento to take over dual Chairmanship of Management Board of hypermarket chain Real
  • Accelerated modernization of the branch network planned
  • Didier Fleury to have new responsibilities in the METRO GROUP, reporting directly to Olaf Koch

Dusseldorf, 14 April 2016. Real, the hypermarket chain, announces a generation change at the top of its management. Chief Financial Officer Henning Gieseke and Chief Merchandise Officer Patrick Müller-Sarmiento will take over the joint leadership of the Management Board with immediate effect. The current Chairman of the Management Board, Didier Fleury, will take on a new strategic role in the METRO GROUP and, as part of this function, will report directly to Olaf Koch, Chairman of the Management Board of METRO AG.

“Didier Fleury has done excellent work for Real over the past few years”, said Koch, who also chairs the Supervisory Board of Real. “Under his leadership, the company was stabilized and groundwork was laid for the sustainable modernization of the hypermarket business in Germany. In close cooperation with Didier Fleury, we have come to the decision that this is the appropriate moment to enact a generation change in the leadership of Real. In Henning Gieseke and Patrick Müller-Sarmiento we have two experienced leadership personalities and retail experts, whose many years of activity at Real will ensure that they have the requisite capabilities and competencies to lead the company on its adopted course, and to provide additional impulses. This will secure the continuity required for our successful ongoing realignment and also allow us to create space for new methods.”

Real will consequently have four leaders instead of five: Henning Gieseke and Patrick Müller-Sarmiento will continue to operate in their respective current roles alongside their new roles as Chairmen of the Management Board. The management team will be completed by Personnel Director Jörg Kramer and Chief Operations Officer Frank Kretzschmar.

Fleury, 60, joined the METRO GROUP 2008 as Chairman of the Management Board at Real International. In August 2012 he took over the Chairmanship of the Management Board of Real Deutschland.

Henning Gieseke (44), has worked for METRO GROUP since 1997, and among various management roles he led the Investor Relations function from 2005 to 2010. In 2012 he took over the leadership of Corporate Controlling at METRO AG, before becoming CFO of Real in 2013.

Patrick Müller-Sarmiento (42), started his career in the coffee trade and has been a member of the Management Board of Real since October 2012. Prior to this he worked as a Management Consultant, focusing primarily on the Consumer Goods and Retail space, and in this role he contributed to various major transformational projects.