Fashion boss working dad quits top role for family

Rubin Ritter will quit his role as boss of online fashion firm Zalando to spend more time with his family and allow his wife to pursue her career

Zalando headquarters office block


The chief exec of Europe’s largest online fashion store is quitting his job to spend more time as a dad. Rubin Ritter also explained that he and his wife have decided that her career goals are going to take priority now.

Ritter is co-CEO of Zalando. The firm’s revenues topped £1.5billion last year. It has over 35million customers. Since it was set up in 2008 the firm has grown steadily and without fanfare. Ritter appears to have attracted little attention before. Which may explain why his decision to step down has initially been treated largely as a business story.

However it also highlights changing attitudes among working dads.


A growing body of research shows men want to spend more time being a present father. And that equal parenting that allows both partners to pursue a career is increasingly common.

“My wife and I have agreed that for the coming years, her professional ambitions should take priority,” Mr Ritter said in a statement.

“I want to devote more time to my growing family. After more than 11 amazing years where Zalando has been my priority, I feel that it is time to give my life a new direction.”

Role models

It’s not clear what field Ritter’s wife is in or what family he has. However, expect more details to emerge in the coming days as campaigners cotton on to what a high profile move this is. Role models are known to be powerful drivers of change. And one of Europe’s most successful businessmen choosing family over career is bound to get noticed and make waves.

Recent research found many men still wedded to the role of breadwinner. Such a high profile divergence from that model could help prompt other working dads to think about their role and whether it suits them and their family.



Photo by Claudio Schwarz | @purzlbaum on Unsplash

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