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12. June 2017

REWE Group Supervisory Board sets the course for future board



Lionel Souque

Lionel Souque will become CEO in 2019

  • Jan Kunath will become vice chairman and assume responsibility for international business, purchasing and digitization
  • Dr Christian Mielsch (CFO) will also be responsible for toom Baumarkt starting in 2019
  • Sören Hartmann will become director responsible for tourism

The supervisory board of the REWE Group, a trade and tourism company headquartered in Cologne, today identified the successor for CEO Alain Caparros, whose term ends on 31 December 2018, and the future composition of the board as well as its distribution of responsibilities. Lionel Souque (45) will become the new CEO of the REWE Group on 1 January 2019. In the meantime, with Alain Caparros at the helm, the board will implement the still-pending structural and organizational changes and further developments within the Group, thereby aligning its business to meet the demands of the future.

"I am very pleased that the supervisory boards have followed my recommendations for the future CEO and the composition of the REWE Group board, laying the foundation for an absolutely seamless transition," Caparros said.

Souque, the REWE Group board member currently responsible for the business of REWE and REWE Digital, will oversee the REWE and PENNY sales lines starting in January 2017, thus managing the entire food retail business of the REWE Group in Germany.  Jan Kunath (51), the REWE Group board member who has been responsible for PENNY Germany, will assume responsibility for the REWE Group's international business, which consists of the BILLA, MERKUR, BIPA, ADEG und PENNY International brands. Starting in January 2017, Kunath will take over the purchasing responsibilities of Manfred Esser, who will leave the Board of his own accord when his current term ends on 31 December 2017. Jan Kunath will also manage the strategic online activities of the REWE Group, which are clustered under REWE Digital, starting on 1 January 2017. As of 1 January 2019, Mr. Kunath will also become vice chairman of the REWE Group.

The CEO of DER Touristik, Sören Hartmann (52), has been tapped to join the board of the REWE Group effective 1 July 2017.  Dr Christian Mielsch (54), who remains CFO of the REWE Group, will also take over responsibility for the toom Baumarkt business starting in 2019, after Frank Wiemer leaves the REWE Group board. The REWE Group board will thus be reduced from six members to four members as of 1 January 2019.

Erich Stockhausen, chairman of the REWE Group Supervisory Board, explained the decisions made today: "The decision to create a future REWE Group board consisting of Lionel Souque, Jan Kunath, Dr Christian Mielsch and Sören Hartmann sets the stage for the future successful development of our company with the greatest possible continuity and reliability. I am very pleased that Alain Caparros decided in 2014 to extend his contract to the end of 2018, thereby creating the optimal conditions for this seamless transition. The board worked very effectively as a team to plan the structural and organizational changes that have already taken place within the Group. Likewise, the major competitive challenges encountered especially in the past two years were met and mastered with excellent cooperation. Therefore, I am pleased and grateful that this seasoned team, under the leadership of Alain Caparros, will work effectively to address the changes that are still needed in the next two years. And I wish to thank all the employees in our Group who give the board such wholehearted support as they do so.

I would also like to take this opportunity to extend my special thanks to Manfred Esser, even though he will not leave the REWE Group until the end of 2017, for his 37 years with the company. As a managing director, Manfred Esser advanced the purchasing business of the REWE Group in a singular way. With the new REWE Group Buying organization, he created the conditions under which our company can continue to count on a powerful and extremely efficient purchasing program.

With Lionel Souque as the future CEO, Jan Kunath as the board member responsible for the international business, purchasing and digitization, and Dr Christian Mielsch as CFO and as the board member who will be responsible for the specialist stores, a highly experienced and smoothly functioning team is taking the helm. With Sören Hartmann we will have a director who concentrates solely on the tourism business for the first time in the history of the REWE Group. We thereby emphasize the strategic importance of DER Touristik as an industry leader in Germany and in Europe."