October 13, 2018 / 8:40 AM / a year ago

UPDATE 1-CEO of electronics retailer Ceconomy quits after profit warnings

(Adds details, background)

BERLIN, Oct 13 (Reuters) - Ceconomy, Europe’s biggest consumer electronics retailer, said its chief executive will leave with immediate effect and it will also look for a new finance chief after its shares tumbled on a string of profit warnings.

Ceconomy, which runs more than 1,000 Media Markt and Saturn stores in countries across Europe, has seen its business stagnate as sales of consumer electronics have shifted online.

Ceconomy said Pieter Haas, CEO since the company split from retailer Metro last year, had agreed to leave by mutual consent, with CFO Mark Frese and management board member Dieter Haag Molkenteller taking over on an interim basis.

In a statement released early on Saturday morning, Ceconomy said Frese would stay on at the company until successors are found for the CEO and CFO roles.

“We are firmly convinced that this is the only way for Ceconomy to restore the trust that has been lost on the capital market,” Juergen Fitschen, chairman of the supervisory board said in the statement.

Earlier this week, Ceconomy issued its third profit warning,

citing weak business at its MediaMarkt and Saturn store chains, sending its shares tumbling.

Ceconomy said the managing board had appointed Ferran Reverter, currently chief operating officer of Media Saturn Holding, as managing director of the unit to replace Haas.

Fitschen said that the strategic realignment that Haas had launched was “undoubtedly the right path” even if has lost the trust of investors.

Under Haas, Ceconomy has sought to better integrate its stores and its online offering, and also sell more services, like fixing and installing electronic devices, as it seeks to differentiate itself from pure ecommerce players like Amazon . (Reporting by Emma Thomasson; Editing by Catherine Evans)

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