Grocer Lidl’s chief executive has left the business due to “unbridgeable” differences about its future strategy.
Karl-Heinz Holland has been with the company for 23 years and was appointed chief in 2008 as he drove the German grocer’s expansion across Europe during the recession. Lidl is owned by a foundation belonging to German billionaire Dieter Schwarz.
Along with grocer Aldi, Lidl has eaten up market share from big supermarket chains, Sainsbury’s, Tesco, Asda and Morrisons as discounters continue to rise in popularity with British middle class shoppers.
In a statement Schwarz Group said: “(Mr Holland) has made a significant contributor to the development of Lidl as the European market leader in the discount segment.”
Head of buying and marketing Dawid Jaschok is also to leave. Lidl did not further explain the reasons for the two executive departures.
Lidl, which operates around 600 UK stores, is planning to expand to as much as 1,500 by opening at least 30 stores a year. Schwarz Group had revenues of 67.6bn euros in its 2012-13 business year.