26 Jun 2019 13:09

Olga Naumova leaves Magnit over disagreements with board of directors, Jan Dunning replaces her as general director

MOSCOW. June 26 (Interfax) - Olga Naumova, who served as the general director of Magnit for about a year, has decided to leave the company over "her and the board of directors' differing visions of the strategy for the development of the business," the company said.

President of Magnit Jan Dunning, who joined the company in January to occupy a specially created position, will take over as general director without surrendering his other post.

Naumova's powers have been terminated as of today, June 26. Earlier today, at a meeting of the board of directors, the agenda was announced and the results of the vote revealed immediately. Dunning will assume the post of general director on June 27 for a three-year term. He will continue to serve as the deputy chairman of Magnit's board of directors.

Before coming to Magnit, Dunning headed Lenta for almost 10 years. Until April of last year, Naumova headed the supermarket chain Pyaterochka, which belongs to Magnit's biggest competitor, X5 Retail . Under her leadership, Pyaterochka updated its stores and significantly accelerated the rate of expansion and revenue growth, allowing X5 to overtake Magnit in terms of sales volumes.

Naumova's departure from X5 was explained in the same terms as her departure from Magnit is being explained: X5 CEO Igor Shekhterman said there were differences of opinion regarding the development of the company. Naumova became the executive director of Magnit in May 2018 and its general director in June.

"Olga came to Magnit in May 2018 to oversee the process of the managing the company's transformation and the formation of its leading positions in the Russian market of modern retail trade," the chairman of Magnit's board of directors, Charles Ryan, was quoted as saying.

"The results of her professional contribution to Magnit will serve as a solid foundation for the further development of the business. On behalf of the board of directors, I express sincere gratitude to Olga for her selfless labor for the good of the company in a period of unprecedented changes and wish her all the very best in her future endeavors," he said.

"I am glad that Jan is becoming the president and general director of Magnit. For the successful implementation of the strategy of transformation, we need to continue building a united, highly effective team, achieve operational perfection, and continue to increase financial discipline while giving our customers the best value offer every day. I'm confident that Jan's rich experience and his leadership qualities will facilitate the continued successful implementation of the program of transformation and the accomplishment of the ambitious goals that we've announced," Ryan said.

The transformation taking place at Magnit has not yet led to a notable improvement of its indicators. In Q4, sales grew for the first time in two years, but only by 0.6%.

Magnit's net profit in Q1 halved and revenue growth accelerated slightly despite an increased number of new stores, customer attrition from comparable stores increased, and EBITDA margin fell to a record low, 6%, from 7.1% in Q1 2018 and Q4.