Christoph Barchewitz will become CEO as Patrick Schmidt steps down as Co-CEO after 10 years with the business
Gunjan Soni will become Chief Operating Officer (COO) and a member of the Management Board in addition to her current role as CEO of GFG’s SEA business
This leadership transition sees the next phase in GFG’s development as the leading online fashion & lifestyle destination in LATAM, SEA and ANZ
Global Fashion Group (GFG) today announces a leadership transition as part of the Group’s next phase of development. Effective from 1st March 2023, Christoph Barchewitz will become sole CEO, as Patrick Schmidt steps down as Co-CEO, after 5 years of co-leadership. Gunjan Soni has been appointed COO and will join the Management Board, in addition to her role as CEO of GFG’s SEA business, ZALORA.
Patrick is leaving GFG after 10 years, to spend more time with his young family and on his investments in renewables. Patrick has played a key role in building GFG into a leading fashion e-commerce business. First as CEO of GFG’s ANZ region, where he established THE ICONIC as the #1 fashion ecommerce company in the region, and championed the introduction of the sustainability strategy, which is now a key business priority across GFG. He also initiated the turnaround of GFG’s SEA region, as interim ZALORA CEO.
Succession planning and talent development is an important part of GFG’s culture and is built into the running of the business. In the last five years as Co-CEO, Christoph has been instrumental in establishing the business as a leader in its markets and driving GFG to become a publicly listed company, together with Patrick. As CEO, he will be responsible for the executive management of the Group across all three regions of operation and will oversee the ongoing strategic and operational evolution of the company in this next stage of its development.
Gunjan’s appointment as COO is in addition to her continued role as CEO of ZALORA. She will have the added responsibility of delivering the Group’s strategic priorities by leveraging GFG’s technology capabilities. Since joining GFG in 2019, Gunjan has led the transformation of ZALORA to be a profitable and strongly differentiated player in a highly competitive SEA market. A key aspect to this has been strengthening the technology and product offering to build a strong platform business. These experiences combined with Gunjan’s decades of industry expertise, make her very well suited for the additional responsibilities at Group level.
Cynthia Gordon, Chairman of the GFG Supervisory Board, said:
“On behalf of the Supervisory Board, we would like to thank Patrick for 10 years of successful leadership and achievements across the Group. We are sad to see him go and wish him all the very best for the future.
We are delighted to appoint Christoph as CEO after 5 years of exemplary leadership which saw him transform GFG into the business it is today. We also want to congratulate and welcome Gunjan Soni as COO. Having their combined experience on the Management Board will strengthen and build on the GFG’s successes even further.“
Christoph Barchewitz, CEO Designate of GFG said:
“I would like to thank Patrick for his partnership, passion and leadership over the years and wish him all the best for his next chapter. I am really looking forward to working with Gunjan in her expanded role and with our global team, as we enter the next phase of building the #1 fashion and lifestyle destination in our markets.”
Patrick Schmidt Co-CEO of GFG said:
“It has been a privilege to spend the last 10 years at GFG alongside a hugely diverse and talented global team. I am proud of what we have achieved together and to have co-led a business which is pioneering fashion e-commerce in growth markets. Christoph is an outstanding leader and I trust that with Gunjan joining the Management Board, there is no better team to lead GFG into this next stage of the company’s development.”
Gunjan Soni, CEO of Zalora and COO Designate said:
“I am delighted to join the Management Board and to continue working with the Group’s outstanding executive team in this new capacity. There is a huge opportunity for GFG to shape the future of fashion e-commerce in our markets, and I’m really looking forward to driving the delivery of our strategic priorities even further to capture this.”