Michiel Witteveen will stop on 1 February as CEO of the Mirage Retail Group, the company behind Blokker, Intertoys and Big Bazar, among others. The NRC and De Telegraaf wrote about this this morning.
He will remain involved with the company. “I will become president of the supervisory board, and I will remain the majority shareholder,” he said this morning Radio 1 News.
Dirk-Jan Stoppelenburg, the current chairman of the Supervisory Board and previously CEO at clothing company Scotch & Soda, will succeed Witteveen. With that, Witteveen actually changes roles with Stoppelenburg. Together they will prepare the IPO that is in the making, says Witteveen.
Not a family business
That IPO should take place sometime next year, and has been an ambition of Witteveen for some time. “It is good for the continuity of a company to have a wide variety of shareholders,” says Witteveen.
“A family business is beautiful, until the paterfamilias falls over. Then it becomes a problem and I don’t want to burden this company with that. 10,000 people work there,” he says in the Radio 1 News.
He says the company is doing well. He tells NRC that the equity is now 183 million euros. When he started, that would be minus 340 million. There is no debt, and a good cash position, he tells the newspaper.
According to Witteveen (67), the switch is logical. At Blokker, each chain now has its own director and, according to him, the company has “steered into calmer waters”. According to him, that requires a different way of managing.
“Dirk-Jan can do that much better than I can,” he tells NRC. “I am an impatient entrepreneur. But in the time when it was very stormy, that was also necessary.”