Schneider will hand over the CEO role to current COO David Schröder, who will oversee Zalando’s plans to expand its B2B business.

Zalando’s other co-founder, Robert Gentz, will continue as Co-CEO, with a focus on the company’s business-to-customer (B2C) sector.

B2B and B2C are considered to be “growth vectors” for the German retailer, which recently reported a 0.6% drop in sales for Q1 2024 as it faced stiff competition from fast fashion giant Shein.

Zalando’s B2B business offers its logistics and software services to brands and retailers outside of the Zalando platform. The company’s B2C business aims to offer the “best possible shopping experience” in fashion and lifestyle.

Schneider will continue at Zalando, moving into a management board role where he will focus on “building partner relationships” across the two growth areas.

Schröder joined Zalando’s senior management team in 2010 and has previously served as CFO and senior vice president of convenience at the group.

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Schneider said: “One of Zalando’s strengths has always been to adapt our strategy and rotate the roles and responsibilities of its strong leadership team to make sure everyone complements each other and serves the ever-changing needs of customers and partners.

“We are thrilled that David Schröder, who has been an integral part of Zalando’s success story since the early days in 2010, will take on the Co-CEO role to scale our B2B growth vector. On a personal note, I’m excited to focus even more on serving the needs of partners, lifting our deep partnerships across the industry to the next level.”

Schneider co-founded Zalando with Gentz in 2008, originally selling flip-flops online. The business has since become a leading e-commerce site, although recent years have seen the retailer struggle.

In 2023, Zalando saw its group revenue decline 1.9% in fiscal year 2023, however it hopes its new pan-European strategy will expand its share of the European fashion market moving forward.