Zalando re-appoints David Schröder as COO

Online retailer Zalando has confirmed that the supervisory board has reappointed David Schröder as CEO to “continue to build and scale” its offering and enable growth.

In a statement, Zalando added that it introduced an updated operating model, in which Schröder will continue to further scale the company’s European multi-channel logistics network. He will be tasked with “unlocking new growth opportunities” such as helping partners grow their direct-to-consumer business across a variety of channels.

The move comes as Zalando’s business and product manager Jim Freeman leaves as planned when his term expires on March 31, 2023. Freeman has played a key role in developing Zalando’s strategy focused on deepening customer relationships and helping to transform the online store into a “gateway for fashion ” destination.

He leaves the company having helped Zalando become a more customer-centric and scalable business, as well as developing and introducing an updated operating model to build even deeper relationships with customers and partners across its 25 markets.

Zalando’s Jim Freeman is to leave in March 2023

Cristina Stenbeck, Chair of the Zalando Supervisory Board, said: “In recent years, Zalando has successfully reinforced its ambition to be the ‘Starting Point for Fashion’ and has introduced and expanded other business segments in addition to the fashion store. The updated operating model and the corresponding organization are a critical step for Zalando to deliver on its strategic ambition and create long-term value for customers, partners and shareholders in an even more agile and customer-centric way.

“We are absolutely thrilled to continue working with David Schröder as Chief Operating Officer as he further scales Zalando’s unique capabilities and offerings. David had a tremendous impact on our business and his work is critical to unlocking new growth opportunities. The Board also wishes to express its appreciation to Jim Freeman for his leadership and execution of the overall strategy.”

The company’s updated operating model is designed to bring the organization “further in line with its strategic ambitions,” the retailer added, to develop a deeper knowledge of local customers and different target groups, to ensure the right mix of offerings for each market.

Zalando also added that the move will “strengthen” its teams to build distinct compelling customer experiences and curate the most relevant assortment to give customers more and more reasons to keep coming back.

Robert Gentz, CEO of Zalando, added: “David Schröder has been an absolutely integral part of Zalando’s success story since 2010, and together we have reached many corporate milestones on the journey from a start-up to a company that now serves over 50 million customers through its pan-European infrastructure.

“I would also like to thank Jim, who is an incredible product manager, strategic mind and reliable sparring partner. He has been instrumental in making Zalando even more customer-oriented, execution-focused and innovation-driven – a task he took on over five years ago and which he has done with great success. We are grateful for his contribution to our journey during his time with Zalando and we wish him all the best in his future endeavours.”

Freeman, who joined Zalando in 2018 first as senior vice president of technology and then as chief business and product officer, will work closely with Zalando management and senior executives on his handover and “will remain close to the company thereafter”.

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