Apparently, the Haniel family, which has controlled the huge cash & carry group and owner of Galeria Kaufhof and Sportarena in Germany and Belgium, is changing its strategy. Franz Markus Haniel will not run for a renewal of his contract as chief of the supervisory board. It was said that an “independent” candidate should oversee the large retailer’s business. The choice is Jürgen Steinemann, the outgoing CEO of Barry Callebaut, a leading Swiss group in the chocolate and cacao business.
The Haniel family has been a strategic investor in Metro for 50 years now. Franz M. Haniel already chaired the supervisory board between 2007-2010 and took the helm again in April 2012. The exec himself said that it was now time to hand over the business to an external manager.
The Haniel family used to control Metro as a majority shareholder and currently holds a 34 percent stake in the group. The idea is apparently to reduce the share down to 20-odd percent until 2020. Franz Haniel’s stepping down will be subject to the shareholders’ annual general meeting next February. Steinemann, the named successor, previously worked for Unilever and is an expert in consumer goods and retailing.