Rubin Ritter, the chief executive of Europe’s largest e-commerce fashion retailer, is resigning from his role to support his wife in pursuing her own career.
The co-CEO of Zalando informed the supervisory board of his intention to step down from his position next year, despite his contract running until November 2023.
“After more than 11 amazing years where Zalando has been my priority, I feel that it is time to give my life a new direction,” Ritter said in a statement on Sunday.
“My wife and I have agreed that for the coming years, her professional ambitions should take priority,” he said.
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Founded in 2008 in Berlin, Zalando SE is one of Europe’s leading online fashion platform, and is active in 17 European markets.
Rubin Ritter joined the company in 2010, becoming one of three chief executives, alongside his two university friends Robert Gentz and David Schneider.
In his public statement, Ritter explained he would like to give himself extra time for family and to explore new interests beyond Zalando.
“I want to devote more time to my growing family,” Ritter said.
“Zalando has allowed me to be part of a stunning success story that has exceeded my wildest dreams.”
Since 2010, the three co-CEOs have led Zalando from being a lean startup to Europe’s largest online platform for fashion, with 14,000 employees who speak 13 languages.
Ritter’s co-CEOs commented on his departure, with Gentz saying it was impossible to overstate his impact on Zalando’s success.
“When we started to ship the first shoes to our customers from the basement of our office, we did not know where the journey would lead us,” Gentz said.
“We will miss him dearly as a strategic thinker and leader.”
Ritter will step down at the company’s next annual general meeting in 2021.