Translated by
Nicola Mira
Dec 17, 2021
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Zalando creates COO post, appoints new CFO

Translated by
Nicola Mira
Dec 17, 2021

A year after poaching Laura Coppen from H&M to name her circularity director, Berlin-based e-tail group Zalando has announced two new senior management appointments. Dr Sandra Dembeck is taking over as CFO, a position previously held by David Schröder, who will now assume the newly created role of chief operating officer.

David Shröder and Sandra Dembeck - Zalando

The new COO function is specifically designed to spearhead the development and expansion of Zalando’s operational capabilities. Schröder joined the company in 2010 and has been a member of the management committee for two years. He will be in charge of scaling up Zalando's European logistics organisation, of developing the new solutions featured by the e-tailer, of progressively deploying ‘buy now, pay later’ capabilities, and of identifying new growth opportunities, notably in the relationship between the e-tailer and brick-and-mortar retailers.

Dembeck will succeed Schröder as CFO on March 1 2022. She previously held the same function at the Compass Group, a contract catering business. She has formerly worked at C&A, Mexx and the Kingfisher group.

“Sandra brings a breadth of financial expertise from a multitude of relevant industries,” said Cristina Stenbeck, president of Zalando’ supervisory board. “We are convinced that this team will deliver on the company’s growth ambition and build upon our strong entrepreneurial culture, in order to create long-term value for customers, partners and shareholders,” she added.

According to the group, these changes in the management structure should enable Zalando to accelerate its strategic programme aimed at making the e-tailer the “starting point for fashion.” Zalando announced in March it wants to corner a 10% share of European fashion sales. The goal is to reach €30 billion in sales volume by 2025. Zalando’s growth strategy rests on three mainstays: strengthening the customer base, developing links with brick-and-mortar retailers, and transitioning towards a sustainable business model.


In the 2020 fiscal year, beset by the pandemic, Zalando recorded a 30.4% rise in sales volume, with €10.6 billion in sales. As a result, revenue grew by 23.1%, reaching €7.9 billion, while EBITDA improved by 61.3% to €581.5 million.

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