Metro boss says he won’t renew his contract despite shareholder support

ECKHARD Cordes, chief executive of German retailer Metro, has said he no longer wishes to renew his contract, just weeks after winning support from the group’s top shareholder.

Cordes had seemed in danger of losing his job last month after reports that he had fallen out of favour with some supervisory board members, who were due to vote later in the autumn on whether his contract would be extended past October 2012.

However, he battled for support among other members of the board and in a rare public statement, the Haniel family, which owns 34.24 per cent of Metro, said they were in favour of a contract extension for Cordes.

Cordes, who informed the supervisory board and major shareholders of his decision yesterday, criticised the public debate over his contract, saying it threatened to harm the company, its principal shareholders and himself.

“Due to the incidents of the recent weeks and months I have come to the conclusion that the trustful basis to stay on as the head of Metro’s top management does not anymore exist,” he said in a statement.