GFG unveils leadership changes as Schmidt steps down
International online retailer Global Fashion Group (GFG) has announced a co-CEO and leadership transition with Christoph Barchewitz to become sole CEO as Patrick Schmidt steps down as co-CEO after 10 years with the business and five years of co-leadership.
Gunjan Soni will become chief operating officer (COO) and will join the management board in addition to her current role as CEO of GFG’s SEA business.
The company said this comes as “the next phase in GFG’s development as the leading online fashion & lifestyle destination in LATAM, SEA and ANZ”.
The changes are effective from 1 March.
Schmidt is leaving GFG after a decade with the business “to spend more time with his young family and on his investments in renewables”.
The company said he played a key role in building it into a leading fashion e-commerce business. First as CEO of GFG’s ANZ region, where he established The Iconic as the top fashion e-commerce company in the region, “and championed the introduction of the sustainability strategy, which is now a key business priority across GFG”. He also initiated the turnaround of GFG’s SEA region, as interim Zamora CEO.
Meanwhile, Barchewitz “has been instrumental in establishing the business as a leader in its markets and driving GFG to become a publicly listed company,” together with Schmidt.
It his new solo CEO role, he’ll be responsible for the executive management of the group across all three regions of operation and will oversee the ongoing strategic and operational evolution of the company in this next stage of its development.
As for the new COO, she’ll now have the added responsibility of delivering the group’s strategic priorities “by leveraging GFG’s technology capabilities”.
She joined the business in 2019 and “has led the transformation of Zalora to be a profitable and strongly differentiated player in a highly competitive SEA market. A key aspect to this has been strengthening the technology and product offering to build a strong platform business. These experiences combined with Gunjan’s decades of industry expertise, make her very well suited for the additional responsibilities at group level”.
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