Jörn Werner refurbishes Media Markt and Saturn with a hard hand

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MunichIt looks like they've been waiting for a like Jörn Werner on the stock exchange. One who gets the hammer out. In any case, the share price of Ceconomy, the parent company of Media Markt and Saturn, shot up on Tuesday by almost twelve percent. The eve of the new head of the electronics chain announced his savings plan.

It was time to "come from talking to action", underlined the 58-year-old. Far too slow, the management would have previously driven the conversion. Werner, who started in March, wants to cancel 500 jobs in the administration. Last but not least, this should reduce costs by up to 130 million euros per year. But most of all, he wants to make the lethargic chain store legs. "We have not yet fully exploited our enormous potential," emphasized the Group owner.

These are words that investors like: The savings and conversion measures that have been decided are strategically the right step, according to analyst Volker Bosse from Baader Bank.

Werner wants to centralize standard tasks soon. He will interlock the largely independent brands Media Markt and Saturn. He wants to stick to the two names, but behind the scenes Werner puts together what's possible.

An important requirement Werner brings with him: He is crisis-proven. For three intensive years he had led the workshop chain ATU. The company was owned by financial investors and highly indebted, meantime threatened bankruptcy. ATU underwent a difficult restructuring and was finally sold in late 2016.

A similar feat of strength, the married father of two adult children is now at Media Markt and Saturn deal. The chains run away from the customers, more and more people buy at Amazon. A restart is necessary. This has recognized Ceconomy supervisory board chief Jürgen Fitschen, who attests to Werner that he "can successfully transform business models even in challenging situations".

Werner Karin Sonnenmoser (49), who was previously CFO of lighting manufacturer Zumtobel, has come to his side. The duo will form the entire board in the future. The previous third in the league, Legal Board Dieter Haag Molkenteller, must go end of May.

The 59,000 employees are facing a major upheaval. Since it could help Werner, that he studied psychology as well as business administration. Werner, who has Danish roots, is a sociable, communicative person, according to ATU. Even in difficult times, he had openly before employee meetings.

Whether the conversion in the sense of Werner progresses depends largely on Ferran Reverter. The 46-year-old manages the operational business of Media-Saturn-Holding locally in Ingolstadt, but does not sit on the board. Werner left it to the Spaniard in a teleconference on Tuesday to explain the details of the renovation.

Whether the two men get along, has to show. Werner has just proved that he does not shy away from putting an old-fashioned manager at the door in an emergency. The changes that have now been initiated are only "the first step," according to Werner. He knows exactly that savings alone will not make it possible to attract more consumers to the 1,000 shops.

Agenda (t) Names (t) Jörn Werner (t) Ceconomy (t) Media Markt (t) Saturn (t) Zumtobel (t) Baader Bank (t) Amazon (t) Attachment (s) Media-Saturn Holding (t) ATU (t) Baader Wertpapierhandelsbank AG (t) Jörn Werner (t) Retail

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