BERLIN — Karstadt’s chief executive officer has resigned after just six months at the German department store chain. Eva-Lotta Sjöstedt joined the struggling firm from Ikea in February with an eye toward restoring profitability.
The Swedish executive replaced Andrew Jennings when his contract expired.
Sjöstedt hinted that her turnaround plan was not receiving full support from Karstadt owner Nicolas Berggruen, who acquired the chain in 2010.
“After careful consideration, given the experience of recent months and full knowledge of the economic specifications, I now find that the conditions for the path I envisioned no longer exist,” she said.
Chief financial officer Miguel Müllenbach and chief human resources officer Kai-Uwe Weitz will now lead Karstadt, according to the company.
“This step came as a surprise to us and at a very difficult time for Karstadt,” chairman Stephan Fanderl said. “Our goal is now to decisively tackle the restructuring of Karstadt with experienced management.”
The firm has not published recent figures. However, German business newspaper Handelsblatt reported in May that Karstadt had a net loss of 34 million euros, or $46.2 million at current exchange, in the first half of its 2013-14 fiscal year.