It is rare to hear a man who quit a high-paying job to stay at home and raise his children while the woman's career took priority. Instead, we have become accustomed to women becoming stay-at-home mothers and forgetting about their careers. However, Rubin Ritter, the co-CEO of Zalando, a German-based e-commerce company, has given up on his high-paying job to be an active father. The executive leads quite a private life, but we have managed to dig up a few facts to let you know more about him.
1. He Quit His Job to Allow Wife to Pursue Her Career
As published by CNN, after devoting 11 years to Zalando, Ritter said it was time to dedicate more time to his growing family. He disclosed that after talking with his wife, they agreed that his wife's professional ambition should take precedence in the coming years. Ritter's contract is supposed to end in November 2023, but he is willing to give it up for his wife's career.
2. His Wife is a Judge
Rubin Ritter left the question about his wife's job open in his statement regarding stepping down. All he revealed was that her professional ambitions should take precedence. Unknown to many, Ritter's wife is a judge, and in 2018, the executive said that his wife's job is as important as anyone else's.
3. His Education
Rubin Ritter studied for a bachelor of business administration degree at WHU-Otto Beisheim School of Management. The Financial Times Masters in Management has ranked the institution #1 in Germany for nine times since 2010. It has a strict admission criterion, and of the thousands of applicants, only 240 are accepted into the undergraduate program per year. The rigorous process entails checking into your academic abilities and personal skills, showing that Ritter's skills are highly-competitive. For his MBA, the executive studied at the University of Texas.
4. He Did Not Know He Was Entitled to a Paternity Leave
Paternity leave has not always been looked upon as necessary, and Anne Hathaway said this when addressing the United Nations as a goodwill ambassador. However, some fathers know the importance of staying connected with a family. Mark Zuckerberg is in the front line and shows it with actions; he took two-month paternity leave and added that they offer up to four months paid maternity or paternity leave at Facebook. In Germany, Ritter was not sure if he was entitled to take paternity leave. Fortunately, according to Business Insider, his contract with Zalando allowed for two-month paternity leave.
5. He is a Feminist
The best way to be a leader is by example, and Ritter has mastered this art. While the company has followed the country's directive of having 30% of supervisory positions being set aside for women, the board of director membership does not have any gender requirements. Still, the executive is determined to see that this policy changes by incorporating more women in leadership positions. Even in his own home, he shows his support for gender equality by putting aside his career to allow his wife to pursue hers. Besides, he could have chosen not to take the paternity leave but knowing that his wife needed as much help at home with the newborn makes him the epitome of a feminist.
6. His Decision to Quit Has Been Welcomed with Praise
Whoever said that winners never quit should see the praise that Ritter is getting for leaving his executive position. It is not the fact that he is resigning that is being seen as heroic, but rather the reason for his decision. It is a noble move to give up millions of dollars to allow your wife to pursue her career while you become more involved with family life. Still, his co-CEOs said they will miss him and will forever remember him for the significant impact he had on the company's success.
7. He Worked for McKinsey Management Consultancy
Top graduates of elite colleges usually pass through McKinsey or such –like firms before deciding on which career is best to pursue. Rubin Ritter is among the many graduates who took up a job at the McKinsey Management Consultancy firm where he worked from 2007 to 2010.
8. He was Poached to Zalando
So many companies have been founded by college students who decided to take the plunge. Snapchat, for instance, was co-founded by Bobby Murphy and Evan Spiegel during their days at Stanford University. However, some entrepreneurs choose to look for former college mates to run their business with, as was the case with Robert Gentz. Robert sought David Schneider, his former collegemate at WHU, and they ran a few unsuccessful companies. The two men co-founded Zalando in 2008 and, in 2010, poached Ritter from McKinsey Management Consultancy, where he has remained till now as the co-CEO.
9. His Replacement to the Board of Director Could be a Woman
Yahoo News published a statement by Ritter in which the Zalando co-CEO said that the company had been so focused on growth that they neglected the evolving cultural imbalances. As a result, they planned on making changes to the succession and hiring practices. Zalando has five men as members of the board of directors, and of the nine people on the supervisory board, only three are women. In November 2020, Ritter published Zalando's first report on inclusion and diversity. He added that the company had been criticized for the five men on the management board. Therefore, his stepping down should be an opportunity for Zalando to start making its promised succession changes.
10. His Salary
According to Wallmine, Ritter is the highest paid executive with a take-home package of $6,776,660. However, in 2019, it was reported that Ritter and the other two co-CEOs stand to become the highest-paid executives in Europe if they can double the sales within five years. If they fail to meet the targets, then the CEOs will only be paid €65,000 per year.
Written by Allen Lee
Read more posts by Allen Lee