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Moves to the Lidl Foundation: Lidl's current head of Germany, Christian Härtnagel, will take over responsibility for the online business

Photo: Bernd Weißbrod / dpa / picture alliance

Following the recently announced restructuring of the board of directors of the Schwarz Group, there is now also a change in top management at the subsidiary Lidl. Christian Härtnagel (41) is giving up his post as chairman of the management board of Lidl Germany for personal reasons, the discounter announced on Monday. On October 1, Härtnagel will then take over responsibility for Lidl's online business as a divisional board member of the Lidl Foundation.

The new managing director of Lidl Germany is to be Friedrich Fuchs, who currently manages Lidl's business in France. However, Fuchs will not take up his new post until January 1 next year. Jan Bock, Härtnagel's current deputy, is therefore stepping in on an interim basis.

Fuchs has been working for the retail chain of the Black Empire since 1996. Prior to his post in France, he held management positions in Hungary and Romania, among others. According to the press release, he is largely responsible for Lidl's success in France, including by changing the range and modernizing stores.

Hartnägel started at Lidl about 20 years ago as a part-time cashier. In the course of his career, he made a name for himself at Lidl in Great Britain, among others, and was able to significantly increase sales despite Brexit and Corona. He has been managing the German business since February 2022, and in this country he has been particularly committed to the topic of sustainability.

Restructuring of the Executive Board of the Schwarz Group

At the beginning of September, the Schwarz Group, the parent company of the retail chains Lidl and Kaufland, announced a restructuring of its Executive Board. Carsten Theurer (48), head of the Schwarz Services division, and Thomas Kyriakis (48), head of the waste disposal division Prezero, would leave the company due to different views on the strategic direction, it was said at the time. Both managers are considered close confidants of group boss Gerd Chrzanowski (52).

The Schwarz Group is Europe's largest retail group. After rapid expansion, the group of companies owned by owner and multi-billionaire Dieter Schwarz (83) has overtaken competitors such as Aldi. The group's total turnover was last 154.1 billion euros in 2022.

But that's not the end of it, CEO Chrzanowski is pursuing a bold master plan, as manager magazin recently reported in detail: He wants to expand the discounter into an all-rounder, with activities in vertical farming, container shipping and artificial intelligence.