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New pastures for Lidl boss and Barwell & Jones MD

Published:  14 September, 2016

Two new departures have been announced since the end of last week.

Two new departures have been announced since the end of last week. 

Ronny Gottschlich, the boss of Lidl's UK business, made a sudden departure from the German discounter on Thursday, and has been followed this morning by Steve Gerrard, who is leaving UK wine agency Barwell & Jones to pursue other business interests and develop his career.

After six years at Lidl, Gottschlich will be succeeded by by the sales and operations director of the supermarket group's Austrian business, Christian Härtnagel.

Härtnagel has been with Lidl for 13 years.

Under Gottschlich's leadership, Lidl saw mammoth growth in the UK, with its number of stores expanding to over 600.

Lidl said in a statement: "The business is extremely grateful for Ronny's contribution throughout his six years as Lidl GB CEO during which time he steered the business forward through a transformative period."

Lidl has seen unprecedented growth in the grocery sector along with rival Aldi, which hit a record combined market share high of 10.5% back in June.

Gerrard dedicated four years to developing Barwell & Jones in his role as managing director.

There is no word yet on his replacement.

Gerrard said: "The timing is certainly right for me to move on and allows me to explore a number of exciting opportunities which will benefit from my extensive experience and skill set in the UK and European wine industry."

Prior to joining Barwell and Jones, Gerrard previously held roles as international sales director at both PLB Group and HwCg, as well as having senior roles for Scottish & Newcastle PLC UK & Waverley TBS.

Earlier this year, the Essex-based wine agency expanded its team with three new appointments, consisting of two new on-trade focused sales managers and one with a focus on independent retailers in London and the south east.