Galeria Kaufhof with strengthened management structure

2 October 2014

Initiated generational change creates foundations for continued economic success and personnel continuity.

  • Olivier Van den Bossche new CEO of department store operations
  • Lovro Mandac new Chairman of the Supervisory Board of GALERIA Kaufhof GmbH
  • Edo Beukema and Volker Schlinge resume the Management Board positions for Procurement and HR – Thomas Storck and Ulrich Köster with new duties at METRO GROUP

METRO GROUP is further driving the future-oriented reorganisation of its successful department store business: according to a statement by METRO AG, Olivier Van den Bossche (38), former Spokesman of the Management Board of Kaufhof's Belgian subsidiary Galeria INNO, has taken over from Lovro Mandac (64) as Chairman of the Management Board of the department store operations of GALERIA Kaufhof GmbH effective 1 October 2014. Lovro Mandac will in addition to his function as Chairman of the Management Board of GALERIA Holding GmbH also assume the position of Chairman of the Supervisory Board of GALERIA Kaufhof GmbH, so far held by Mark Frese, Chief Financial Officer of METRO AG. METRO AG plans to ensure the future management of the Galeria Kaufhof Group which, in addition to its operational business also includes the city-centre real estate portfolio, via the company's Shareholders' Meeting chaired by Mark Frese. At the same time, new Managing Directors for Procurement and Human Resources are rising to the management of the leading German department store operator.

"With these structural measures we are initiating the generational change at Galeria Kaufhof while at the same time securing management continuity to sustainably secure and continue the successful course of our department store business", said Mark Frese. "With Olivier Van den Bossche, we have won a recognised top manager as new Chairman of the Management Board for the operational department store business who has already done excellent work at Inno in Belgium. In his new function, Lovro Mandac, who has been a significant contributor to the successful development of Galeria Kaufhof for more than 20 years now, will ensure a smooth leadership transition within the company". 

GALERIA Holding GmbH is the umbrella organisation that combines the retail business and the real estate activities of Galeria Kaufhof; in addition to Lovro Mandac (Chief Executive Officer), the Management Board also includes Dr Henning Klöppelt (Chief Real Estate Officer) and Thomas Fett (Chief Financial Officer).

Two more changes will take place on the Management Board of GALERIA Kaufhof GmbH effective 1 October 2014: The new Head of Procurement will be Edo Beukema, who has so far very successfully served in the same position at the Dutch department store operator de Bijenkorf. Thomas Storck, the current Head of Procurement, will be appointed to the newly created position of Chief Solution Officer and CIO at METRO Cash & Carry where he will manage the digital transformation of the wholesale business. In this role he will also be responsible for the online business of METRO Cash & Carry. At the same time, Ulrich Köster, CHRO and Labour Relations Director, will assume new duties within METRO GROUP starting form 1 January 2015 and therefore withdraw from the Management Board of GALERIA Kaufhof GmbH; he will be succeeded in this position by Volker Schlinge, former Head of Marketing at GALERIA Kaufhof GmbH. Rami Al Assouad, currently Chief Buying Officer at Galeria INNO, will rise to the position of Spokesman of the Management Board of the Belgian department store subsidiary.

"With the new structure and this powerful team we will be well positioned to successfully advance Galeria Kaufhof with regard to both, its operational department store business and its real estate business", stressed Mark Frese. "This way we will be able to further expand our leading position in the German market".

Lovro Mandac stated: "The new holding structure of the Galeria Kaufhof Group will allow for an efficient and performance-oriented development of the company as a whole. With Olivier Van den Bossche we will be excellently positioned in our operational business in the future. He is very familiar with our company and has already demonstrated in Belgium that he is capable of managing a department store highly successfully and with a strong customer focus. We thank Ulrich Köster and Thomas Storck for their valuable contributions to the advancement of Galeria Kaufhof over the past years. We are looking forward to the future collaboration with Olivier Van den Bossche, Volker Schlinge, Edo Beukema and Rami Al Assouad and wish all of them every success in their new tasks".

Management structure of Galeria Kaufhof as from 1 October 2014

Management structure of Galeria Kaufhof. 

METRO GROUP is one of the largest and most important international retailing companies. During the financial year 2012/13 (pro forma), it generated sales of about €66 billion. The company operates around 2,200 stores in 31 countries and has a headcount of around 250,000 employees. The performance of METRO GROUP is based on the strength of its sales brands that operate independently in their respective market segments: METRO/MAKRO Cash & Carry - the international leader in self-service wholesale - Media Markt and Saturn - the European market leader in consumer electronics retailing - Real hypermarkets and Galeria Kaufhof department stores.

The GALERIA Kaufhof GmbH with its headquarters in Cologne is part of the METRO GROUP and one of Europe's leading department stores. The company presents modern shopping and experience worlds with its innovative and successful Galeria concept. With its total of around 21,500 employees, GALERIA Kaufhof GmbH operates 105 department stores and 17 sports stores in Germany alone and 15 department stores in Belgium.