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Style boss pronounces plans to step down and says it's time to prioritize his spouse's profession

Rubin Ritter, member of the management team at Zalando SE, gestured on Monday, September 26, 2016, during an interview in the technology center of the online retailer in Berlin.

Krisztian Bocsi | Bloomberg via Getty Images

LONDON – A co-CEO of Europe's largest online fashion and lifestyle website has announced plans to step down next year. He and his wife have agreed that their professional ambitions should take priority.

Rubin Ritter, who has been the co-head of Zalando since 2010, said on Sunday that he intends to leave his position at the next annual general meeting in May 2021.

"My decision is the result of many months of careful deliberation. After more than eleven amazing years of having Zalando my priority, I think it is time to give my life a new direction," Ritter said in a statement.

"I want to devote more time to my growing family. My wife and I have agreed that their professional ambitions should be our priority in the years to come," he added.

Ritter said he plans to quit in order to pursue "new interests beyond Zalando" and cut a contract that currently runs until November 2023.

Robert Gentz ​​and David Schneider will continue to lead Zalando as Co-CEOs after Ritter's departure.

The Zalando logo can be seen on a building in the Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg district of Berlin

Emmanuele Contini | NurPhoto | Getty Images

Gentz, Schneider and Ritter have been running the company since 2010. During this time, the Berlin-based start-up with 35 million active customers in 17 markets has developed into Europe's leading online fashion and lifestyle platform.

Zalando posted sales of 1.85 billion euros ($ 2.24 billion) in the third quarter and improved its guidance for the full year based on robust profitable growth.

Zalando's shares are up more than 74% since the beginning of the year.

"It is impossible to overestimate Rubin's influence on Zalando's success. We will miss him very much as a strategic thinker and leader," Gentz ​​said in a statement.

"Rubin has always been a role model for many in the company. We owe him a lot as a business partner and friend. I am sure that he will remain closely associated with Zalando," added Schneider.

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