Supermarket Lidl has announced current UK CEO Christian Härtnagel will become chief executive at Lidl Germany, while Ryan McDonnell will be promoted to lead the group’s UK operations.
McDonnell, who left a family business in construction for Lidl’s graduate scheme in 2000, set up the company’s buying and marketing divisions.
The supermarket business, which runs over 11,500 stores around the world, said Härtnagel will become CEO of Lidl Germany – the largest of the Lidl businesses.
He will return to Germany, where he started his 18-year-career at Lidl as a store assistant, to lead the business.
Lidl employed 17,000 across 650 stores in the UK when Härtnagel was appointed GB CEO in 2016. The supermarket has since seen its market share up to 6.2 per cent, from 5 per cent, with 880 stores and 26,000 staff members.
Härtnagel will replace current Lidl Germany CEO Matthias Oppitz, who the company said will take on a new international role on its board.
The news follows Lidl’s announcement to open 1,100 stores across the UK by 2025, creating 4,000 new jobs, after opening 55 stores during the first year of the pandemic.
It comes as the grocer published its accounts filed with Companies House for the 12 months to the end of February showing revenues jumped 12 per cent to £7.7bn and it turned a pre-tax profit of £9.8m, compared to a £25m pre-tax loss a year earlier.
Earlier this month Lidl also became the UK’s highest-paying supermarket after it said it would invest £18m in wages.
Entry-level wages are to increase £10.85 to £11.30 in London from March 2022 while new starters outside the capital will see wages hike from £9.50 to £10.10.
Lidl colleagues are also to earn up to £12.25 in London and £11.40 outside the city, depending on length of service.