FRANKFURT Feb 5 German retailer Metro
has created a new management board position with responsibility
for its Media-Saturn chain of consumer electronics stores to
reflect what it sees as one of its most important businesses.
Pieter Haas, currently chief operating officer of
Media-Saturn, Europe's largest chain of consumer electronics
stores, will become the fifth member of the management board in
the second quarter, Metro said on Tuesday.
Haas will be charged with improving the fortunes of
Media-Saturn, which was late to set up online sales and which
last year had to cut prices at the expense of margins to better
compete with online rivals.
Decision-making at Media-Saturn has also been hampered by
frosty relations between Metro management and Erich Kellerhals,
the chain's billionaire founder who still owns a blocking
minority of around 22 percent in the unit.
"Media-Saturn is and remains a core business of Metro - this
now also reflects accordingly in the structure of the Management
Board portfolio," said Metro supervisory board chairman Franz
Markus Haniel, who represents Metro top shareholder Haniel.
Metro also runs cash and carries, hypermarkets and
department stores, but has said it wishes to focus investment on
cash and carry and consumer electronics stores, which it feels
have better prospects given their size and international
Media-Saturn reported sales of 21 billion euros ($28.5
billion) for 2012, an increase of 1.8 percent on 2011. Metro
will release full details of 2012 earnings on March 20.
($1 = 0.7376 euros)
(Reporting by Victoria Bryan; Editing by Mark Potter)