Lidl US has named Michal Lagunionek its new president and CEO as Johannes Fieber leaves the post after three years to spend more time with family.
Fieber issued a company letter April 20 that acknowledged the stress of the COVID-19 pandemic on associates and staff and his appreciation for their hard work. He also said it pointed out the importance of family during the tough time, and that he was going to take a break from his career to spend more time with his wife and three daughters.
“I have missed being with them more during these demanding times,” he said.
He will support Lagunionek over the next couple months as he transitions into the role.
Lagunionek has more than two decades of international retailing experience, recently overseeing Lidl operations in Poland and as a member of Lidl’s board of directors. Last year Roman Heini resigned as Lidl US chair to spend time with family and seek other opportunities.
Fieber’s company letter highlighted some of the retail chain’s highlights stateside:
“On a personal level, I am tremendously proud of all that we have accomplished together, supporting Lidl’s path to growth. Through my many visits to our stores, warehouses, property offices, and headquarters, I have seen firsthand your countless contributions to our business. Together, we have successfully completed the Best Market brand acquisition and transformation on Long Island; we have introduced exciting new store concepts to better serve our customers, including our newest, which will open this week in Manassas, Virginia; and we have been recognized as the fastest-growing retailer in the United States for two consecutive years,” he said.
During the pandemic, Lidl was one of the first retailers to announce it would be providing extra pay for employees to get vaccinated, as well as offering comprehensive medical coverage to all full and part-time employees and developing a first-in-the-industry program with CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield to give all its employees access to comprehensive COVID-19 medical coverage at no cost.
Under Fieber’s leadership, the retailer was planning to open 50 more stores by the end of this year, bringing the store count up to more than 150 locations.
Last year, the National Retail Federation named Lidl the hottest retailer on its “Hot 100” list of fast-growing retailers, which Fieber references in the letter, and opened a new 700,000 square foot distribution center in Maryland’s Cecil County to better serve five nearby states.