Effective January 1, 2017, Alexander Birken, member of the executive board Otto Group, multichannel distance selling and spokesman of OTTO, will take over as chairman of the executive board at the international retail and services group.

Long-serving CEO Hans-Otto Schrader is to step down at his own wish, having reached the age limit of 60 for Otto Group Executive Board Members.

Looking back on a 39-year career within the Otto Group: Hans-Otto Schrader
Photo: Otto Group
Looking back on a 39-year career within the Otto Group: Hans-Otto Schrader

Schrader is looking back on a 39-year career within the Otto Group, 17 of those as part of the executive board. In his nine-year tenure of the CEO position he has pushed modernization through new business models such as Collins, over 130 venture capital participations, and has overseen the restructuring of the Group’s IT environment.
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Birken is part of the Otto Group’s executive board since 2005 and has since played a role in driving forward the digital transformation at the born mail-order company. In his current position, he is responsible for the strategic development of the single company OTTO, the Baur Group, the Bonprix Group, Otto Group Russia, the Schwab Group and the Witt Group – which means he is already responsible for around half of the Otto Group’s revenue of over 12 billion euros today.

“With his broad, international experience, outstanding digital competency and high personal integrity, Alexander Birken is the ideal choice to lead our group of companies into a continually successful future“, said supervisory board chairman Dr Michael Otto.

Alexander Birken will be succeeded by Dr. Marcus Ackermann, currently chairman of the Bonprix Group executive board. With revenues of 1.43 billion euros and ca. 3,000 employees, the Bonprix Group represents one of the pillars of the Otto Group. A decision will be taken by this summer on who is to become the new Chairman of the Bonprix Executive Board. From 1 January 2017, Birken’s successor as spokesman of the single company OTTO will be Marc Opelt, member of the OTTO management board, sales.

Parallel to these changes, Hanjo Schneider, member of the executive board Otto Group, services, and chairman of the Hermes Europe GmbH supervisory board, has declared his wish to extend his contract – originally scheduled to expire at the end of this year – by a further year.

All these personnel measures are still subject to approval by the respective decision making bodies.