Dr. Stephan Zoll, Executive Officer and Executive Director

Dr. Stephan Zoll was born in 1970 in Hamburg (Germany). From 1993 to 1998, Dr. Zoll studied law at the universities of Heidelberg (Germany) and Munich (Germany) and obtained a doctorate degree from the university of Augsburg (Germany) in 1999. In 2006, he completed the general manager program at Harvard Business School in Boston, Massachusetts (United States).

Most recently, Dr. Zoll was President Online of the Illinois-based company Sears Holdings, Inc., a multichannel retailer comprising brands Sears, Kmart, Sears Home Services, Kenmore, DieHard and ShopYourWay.

He held this position being responsible for the performance of Sears’ and Kmart’s online businesses from 2016 until 2018. Prior to 2016, Dr. Zoll served for 10 years at eBay, Inc., a NASDAQ-listed California-based global online marketplace as Vice President and managing director (Geschäftsführer) and was a member of eBay’s Marketplaces EU Leadership Team. During his time at eBay, Inc. he was responsible for several subsidiaries.

The functions included his positions as managing director of Tradera (eBay Sweden), Gitti Gidiyor (eBay Turkey) and eBay Advertising Group. In his early career, Dr. Zoll worked as a strategy consultant at Olivier Wyman and Booz Allen & Hamilton in various countries.

Mike Özkan

Mike Özkan was born in 1987 in Dortmund (Germany). He acts as member of the management board of SIGNA Retail Selection AG. Mr. Özkan obtained the advanced federal diploma of higher education for bankers in 2013 and holds a LL.M. degree in international business law from Zurich University since 2018. Mr. Özkan began his career with a trainee program for high school graduates at UBS Switzerland in Zurich (Switzerland) and was promoted to Associate Director of Sales in 2009. In 2011, he was promoted to authorized officer at DZ Private Bank where he was a financial advisor to wealthy private clients. Since 2018, Mr. Özkan is Member of the Advisory Board of SSU and Chairman of the Operating Committee. He plays a major role in establishing and building up SSU and contributes significantly to its further strategic development.

Wolfram Keil

Wolfram Keil was born in 1967 in Mannheim (Germany). Mr. Keil has been a Member of the SIGNA Executive Board and Managing Director of SIGNA Retail since 2013. He previously worked as CFO of SIGNA RECAP Funds. He gained extensive experience in the private equity and real estate business while working for Cerberus Capital Management in Germany and Terra Firma Capital Partners in London. After completing his university studies with a master’s degree in business management and economics from Ruhr-University Bochum (Germany), Mr. Keil began his professional career in finance management at Procter & Gamble and Coca-Cola. He is an experienced board director chairing various supervisory boards of SIGNA portfolio companies.

Dieter Berninghaus

Dieter Berninghaus was born in 1965 in Pulheim (Germany). As of September 2016, Dr. Dieter Berninghaus took over as Chairman of the SIGNA Group Executive Board and Chairman of SIGNA Retail.

Prior to this, from the beginning of 2008 to August of 2016, Mr. Berninghaus was a Member of the Executive Board as well as CEO Retail at the Swiss Migros Group. This is where, in his position as a Member and Chairman of the Board of Directors, Mr. Berninghaus was responsible for the entire non co-operative retail business and managed 15 companies of the Swiss Migros Group. Mr. Berninghaus also worked for Denner AG/Rast Holding AG (2004–2008) as a Member of the Board of Directors and subsequently as Chairman of the Board of Directors, and also as the CEO and Spokesperson of the Management Board of REWE Group (1999–2004). At Metro AG (1991–1999), Mr. Berninghaus was responsible — most recently as Director — for the management of the Internationalization and Strategic Corporate Development Group Division.

Dr. Martin Wittig

Dr. Martin Wittig was born in 1964 in Frankenholz (now: Bexbach) (Germany). He graduated from RHTW Aachen (Germany) and holds a degree in mining engineering and in economics. Moreover, he obtained his doctorate degree in mining engineering from the Technical University of Berlin (Germany) in 1995. In the same year, Dr. Wittig joined Roland Berger Strategy Consultants and became an associate partner in 1999 and a full partner in 2000. Since January 2001, he had been acting as managing partner and director of the branch in Zurich 334 (Switzerland). In December 2002, Dr. Wittig was elected chief financial officer by the partners in the global executive committee of Roland Berger and re-elected in 2006. Dr. Wittig was elected the chief executive officer of Roland Berger Strategy Consultants unanimously by 180 partners in 2010. In May 2013, Dr. Wittig resigned from his office at Roland Berger. He holds lectures at the University of St. Gallen (Switzerland) on a regular basis and has been appointed Honorary Consul of Germany for the nation of Switzerland (Canton of Schwyz and Canton of Zurich).

Christoph Keese

Christoph Keese was born in 1964 in Remscheid (Germany). After his graduation as an economist at the universities of Marburg and Frankfurt a.M. (Germany), Mr. Keese started his professional career as assistant to the chief executive officer and head of corporate communications of Gruner + Jahr, the Bertelsmann magazine division. He was managing editor of Berliner Zeitung, editor in chief of Financial Times Deutschland and editor in chief of Welt am Sonntag and Welt Online. In 2008, Mr. Keese switched to the management side of Axel Springer SE, Europe’s leading digital publisher. As senior vice president public affairs and investor relations (until 2013) and as executive vice president (after 2013) he helped to shape Axel Springer SE’s digitization strategy. Mr. Keese is the author of bestselling books about digitization, among them “Silicon Valley”. As CEO and founder of his consulting firm, Mr. Keese, inter alia, exercises various formal and informal mandates for Axel Springer SE.

Richard d’Abo

Richard d’Abo was born in 1956. Mr. d’Abo attended the University of Southern California, after which he worked for Union Bank from 1978 to 1987. In 1984, Mr. d’Abo started Union Bank’s leverage finance lending group and was its vice president until joining Yucaipa in 1988 as a partner. During this time with Yucaipa, Mr. d’Abo held various integral roles that included origination and structuring of principal transactions that culminated in Yucaipa’s consolidation of the supermarket industry in the western United States. From 1995 to 2003, Mr. d’Abo was involved in various financial advisory and private equity investing.

Mr. d’Abo returned to Yucaipa in 2004 as a partner. In 2009, Mr. d’Abo led Yucaipa’s $2.2 billion restructuring of Eimskip, a leading logistics company in the North Atlantic. This restructuring resulted in the purchase of Versacold International Corporation, which was the second largest global cold storage company at the time. In 2012, Eimskip completed its IPO (NASDAQ OMX: EIM) and Mr. d’Abo served as a director and Chairman of Eimskip from 2012 to 2018. Mr. d’Abo was also active in Yucaipa’s consolidation of the cold storage industry, which resulted in the IPO of Americold (NYSE: COLD). Mr. d’Abo further served as a member of the board of trustees for Americold from 2013 to 2018. Additionally, Mr. d’Abo is Chairman of New Planet Energy Development, LLC, a developer of advanced waste management facilities.

Dr. Thomas Rudolph

Thomas Rudolph was born in 1962 in Öhringen (Germany). He studied business administration at the University of Mannheim. Since 2000, he teaches marketing and researches as a full-time professor at the University of St.Gallen. In 2006, he founded the “Retail Lab”, a partnership program between the University of St.Gallen and numerous international retailers. Since 2009, he manages and directs the Institute of Retail Management. Professor Rudolph authored over 400 research articles, many in high impact journals, as well as eleven books, and is consistently honored for his excellence in research and teaching. As an advisory board member he supports numerous renowned companies.