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Founded in Berlin by Gentz and Schneider in 2008, Zalando has quickly grown to become Europe’s biggest online-only fashion retailer, serving 35 million active customers in 17 countries.
Ritter, responsible for strategy and communications on the management team, said in a statement that he wanted to devote time to his growing family and allow his wife’s professional ambitions to take priority in the coming years.
“In my remaining months I will ensure that we continue to rapidly advance the execution of our strategy,” he said.
Ritter’s contract had been due to run until November 2023. Zalando said he would step down at the next annual general meeting, which usually takes place in May.
Zalando chairman Cristina Stenbeck said while the supervisory board regretted Ritter’s decision, it respected his motivation and appreciated his transparency that gave the company enough time to organise the management transition.
Ritter became co-CEO in 2010 alongside Gentz and Schneider, but was also finance chief until David Schroeder was given that role last year.