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Lidl GB chief Christian Hartnagel to step down next year
26 November 2021, 12:24
His current deputy CEO, Ryan McDonnell, will take over as the British operation’s new boss next year.
The boss of Lidl’s British business is stepping down to take the helm of the grocer’s German operation.
Christian Hartnagel, chief executive officer of Lidl GB, has confirmed he will start his new role in Germany on March 1 next year after a handover process.
His current deputy CEO, Ryan McDonnell, will take over as the British operation’s new chief next year.
Mr Hartnagel has led Lidl GB over the past five years, as the discounter has continued its rapid expansion across the UK and stolen market share from the traditional Big Four supermarket chains – Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Asda and Morrisons.
The surprise departure comes just two days after Mr Hartnagel set out a new long-term growth plan for Lidl GB.
Bosses at the retailer said they expect to reach their original target of having 1,000 stores by 2023 and set a new ambition for 1,100 sites by 2025.
Mr Hartnagel said: “It feels special, both personally and professionally, to be given the opportunity to go back to the country where I started my career many years ago, and to take the helm of the biggest market in the Lidl family.
“I’ve worked closely with Ryan for some time and have every faith in his ability to lead Lidl in Great Britain, and to build on the team’s fantastic track record in recent years.
“I feel very proud to leave the company in such capable and safe hands.
“Ryan and I are focused on delivering the best Christmas ever for our customers.”
His replacement, Dublin-born Mr McDonnell, has worked at Lidl since 2000 and was handed the newly former deputy CEO role earlier this year.
“Christian hands over a business built on strong foundations and I’m incredibly excited to have the baton passed on to me,” Mr McDonnell said.
“I have worked at Lidl GB now for over six years, during which time we have seen our store estate, colleague and customer numbers grow exponentially.
“We couldn’t be in a better place as a business and I feel privileged to be taking us forward from here.”