Germany Another Executive Leaves Drugstore Operator Müller

Frauke Vor dem Berge (Retail Analyst)
18 April 2017

Drugstore operator Müller loses another executive, this time Daniel Kunzi, its Commercial Director. Lebensmittel Zeitung reports that Kunzi will leave the company after only 1.5 years at the retailer. The original aspiration was that he might become one of Müller’s next Managing Directors, but this has not happened.

Reportedly, Kunzi’s decision to leave Müller was not only driven by the unfulfilled promotion, but also by his relationship with the company’s CEO Erwin Müller. Despite being pleased with his new recruit at the beginning, Müller allegedly started to become mistrustful of Kunzi’s personnel decisions. 

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Frauke Vor dem Berge (Retail Analyst)
Frauke Vor dem Berge (Retail Analyst)

Opinion Departure of Kunzi Is No Surprise

18 April 2017

It is not a surprise that Müller has to face another key executive leaving the company. In recent years, more and more of the retailer’s top management have left the business because they couldn’t get along with the company’s owner, Erwin Müller. Following the departure of a number of senior managers, many of the positions have remained vacant, with the CEO reclaiming many of his past responsibilities despite initial plans to slowly retire from the day-to-day business.

Our main concern is that Müller’s internal turmoil will hamper its ability to withstand its competitors, both now and in the future. The many management restructures will distract its leadership team and concerningly octogenarian Erwin Müller remains unwilling to hand over the reins to the next generation. Meanwhile he is taking over key responsibilities such as buying while the company seems at pains to fill vacant management positions from defectors.

As competition with dm and Rossmann remains intense, plus the additional threat of the proposed new drugstore chain from Edeka and Budnikowsky, Erwin Müller must find a way to prepare his company for the future without being so dependent on himself. If not, there is a huge risk for the business when Erwin Müller eventually has to retire completely.

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