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CEO of retailer Zalando resigns to prioritize wife's career

FILE - In this Jan. 10, 2014 file photo, the three CEOs of German online warehouse Zalando, David Schneider, Robert Gentz and Rubin Ritter, from left, ring the bell during the company's initial public offering at the stock market in Frankfurt, Germany. The chief executive of online fashion retailer Zalando Rubin Ritter is stepping down to focus on his family, saying his wifes career should take priority in the coming years. Ritter has been one of three chief executives at Zalando since 2010. (AP Photo/Michael Probst, File)
FILE - In this Jan. 10, 2014 file photo, the three CEOs of German online warehouse Zalando, David Schneider, Robert Gentz and Rubin Ritter, from left, ring the bell during the company's initial public offering at the stock market in Frankfurt, Germany. The chief executive of online fashion retailer Zalando Rubin Ritter is stepping down to focus on his family, saying his wifes career should take priority in the coming years. Ritter has been one of three chief executives at Zalando since 2010. (AP Photo/Michael Probst, File) (Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

BERLIN – The chief executive of online fashion retailer Zalando is stepping down to focus on his family, saying his wife's career should “take priority” in the coming years.

Rubin Ritter, one of three co-chief executives at Zalando, has been in the job since 2010. Tasked with overseeing strategy and communications, the 38-year-old helped turn the Berlin-based start-up from into one of the world's top online fashion retailers with 14,000 employees and net profit of almost 100 million euros ($121 million) in 2019.

In a statement, Zalando said Ritter had informed the company Sunday of his decision to step down in 2021, more than two years before his contract ends.

“I feel that it is time to give my life a new direction," Ritter was quoted as saying.

“I want to devote more time to my growing family,” he added. “My wife and I have agreed that for the coming years, her professional ambitions should take priority.”

The company declined to provide details on Ritter's wife or her profession.

The head of Zalando's supervisory board, Cristina Stenbeck, said the company regretted Ritter's decision but “we have the highest respect for the underlying personal motivation.”

Last month, Ritter published the company's first report on diversity and inclusion, saying these should be seen as “an opportunity rather than a challenge.” The company has been criticized for currently having only men on its five-member management board.