LONDON The boss of Lidl's British business has left the discount supermarket and is being replaced by the firm's executive in charge of sales and operations in Austria.
Lidl gave no reason for the exit of Ronny Gottschlich, 41, who has been with the group for 16 years
His six years as CEO has seen rapid growth in sales and market share gains at the expense of Britain's big four grocers - Tesco (TSCO.L), Sainsbury's (SBRY.L), Asda (WMT.N) and Morrisons (MRW.L).
The firm is currently vying with fellow German discounter Aldi [ALDIEI.UL] to be Britain's fastest growing supermarket.
Gottschlich will be succeeded by Christian Härtnagel, 34, - a 13 year Lidl veteran, who has worked in different management positions across the business, including regional director at Lidl Ireland.
"(Härtnagel) will be responsible for moving the business forward and securing its ongoing market growth, including the continuation of Lidl GB’s ambitious investment plans which will see store numbers potentially more than double to 1,500 in the long term," Lidl said in a statement.
The firm, which trades from 630 UK stores, reported record revenue of 4.7 billion pounds in 2015.
(Reporting by James Davey; Editing by Alexander Smith)