* Media-Saturn founder has candidate for interim CEO
* CEO quit on Tuesday over lack of support
* Power struggle between owners of company
* Chain battling online competition
DUESSELDORF, Germany, May 7 The founder of
Europe's top electronics chain Media-Saturn, who is locked in a
dispute with the firm's majority owner Metro, demanded
a role on Wednesday in choosing a new chief executive to replace
Horst Norberg who quit on Tuesday.
Eric Kellerhals, Media-Saturn's billionaire founder who
still owns a stake of close to 22 percent that gives him a say
in executive appointments, has been fighting for years with
Metro over its management of the chain.
A spokesman said Kellerhals has called on Metro to urgently
discuss who should lead the company after Norberg announced on
Tuesday he was stepping down after 27 years at the firm, saying
he did not feel he had the support of all the chain's owners.
Kellerhals has proposed a member of Media-Saturn's
management as an interim replacement for Norberg, his spokesman
said, but declined to name who it was.
Media-Saturn, which accounts for about a third of Metro's
sales, was slow to move into e-commerce because of the
long-running dispute between Metro and Kellerhals, but is now
accelerating a push towards online retailing.
The power struggle between the owners escalated recently
after Kellerhals called on his own website for applications to
replace Norberg when his contract expires at the end of 2015,
accusing Metro of moving too slowly.
Metro, who called Kellerhals "completely unprofessional" for
advertising for a new CEO online, announced on Tuesday it was
putting its management board member Pieter Haas in charge of
Media-Saturn on an acting basis.
Media-Saturn, the world's second biggest consumer
electronics chain after Best Buy with more than 950
stores in 17 countries, saw its sales fell 0.7 percent to 6.6
billion euros ($9.20 billion)in the last quarter of 2013.
Retail analysts expect Metro to report another drop for the
chain that competes with Dixons Retail and Darty Plc
when it announces results for the January to March
period on Thursday.
($1 = 0.7177 Euros)
(Reporting by Matthias Inverardi, writing by Emma Thomasson,
editing by Louise Heavens)