METRO GROUP is simplifying the organisation of its top management: CEO Olaf Koch will now assume operational responsibility for the business segment with the highest sales and earnings, METRO Cash & Carry. This decision was made by the company's Supervisory Board, and it underlines the high strategic significance of the cash & carry business for the Group. Since the positions of CEO of METRO AG and CEO of METRO Cash & Carry are to be consolidated, the present CEO of METRO Cash & Carry, Frans W.H. Muller, will leave the company by mutual agreement, effective 31 March 2013.
"METRO GROUP and METRO Cash & Carry owe a lot to Frans Muller", said the Chairman of the Supervisory Board of METRO AG, Franz Markus Haniel. "Since 2002, he has made a significant contribution to the development of METRO Cash & Carry and the reorganisation of its business. The Supervisory Board and the Management Board of METRO GROUP would like to thank Frans Muller for his commitment, his achievements and his loyalty to the company. His contribution in 2012 was particularly strong, where he played a decisive role in initiating the fundamental repositioning of METRO Cash & Carry.
Haniel drew attention to the strategic impact of this structural change in the company's top management: "METRO Cash & Carry is the engine and growth driver of the Group and its significance is now also reflected in the Management Board's new structure. By combining the management of the Group and that of its main sales line, we are streamlining our decision-making processes and creating a more direct management structure.
Due to Olaf Koch's new role, further functional responsibilities will be transferred within the Management Board of METRO AG: CFO Mark Frese will take over responsibility for Galeria Kaufhof, the real estate entity, METRO Properties, and Investor Relations from Olaf Koch on the Board, while CHRO Heiko Hutmacher will in future be responsible for Group Internal Audit. Furthermore, Board responsibility for IT and thus METRO Systems, will shift from Mark Frese to Pieter Haas, the new Management Board member for Media-Saturn and Business Innovation.
Frans Muller joined Metro in 1997, first as Operations Director, and then as managing director of the Dutch subsidiary Makro. From 2002 to 2005, he served as a member of the Executive Board of Directors of METRO Cash & Carry International, with responsibility for business in Eastern Europe / CIS, and later for the zone Asia / CIS. During this period, he was instrumental in the international expansion of the company. He took over the management of the then Metro buying entity, MGB, in September 2005. In this position was appointed to the Management Board of METRO AG in 2006. Since 2008, Frans Muller has served as CEO of METRO Cash & Carry, taking responsibility for the group's real estate activities from 2010 until early 2012.