Ex Superquinn man is new Lidl MD
8 February 2009
Kenneth McGrath, a 34 year old native of Cork, is to take over as managing director of Lidl Ireland Gmbh in April 2009. McGrath joined Lidl around 2001 and spent six years with the company before being headhunted by Superquinn.
After just over one year with the Irish retailer as operations and development director, he now returns to the discounter to assume the top job in Ireland.
Speculation is rife that McGrath will show (publicly at any rate) a softer side to the hard discounter. Industry insiders are hoping that his appointment will also see an increase in locally purchased products.
The recent visit of Paul Foley, Aldi’s Irish and UK MD to Ireland and his subsequent lauding by the Irish media, has done wonders for the group’s image. Will the affable McGrath adopt a similar media-friendly approach at Lidl once he takes over? There is no doubt that he is more than qualified but the real question is will Lidl HQ allow it. Surely a resident Irish Lidl MD would be much more acceptable to Irish consumers and media than a visiting UK Aldi landlord?
At Superquinn Sheena Forde, who is currently purchasing director, will take over McGrath’s role as operations director following his departure. Meanwhile Patrick Kaudewitz returns to Germany to take on a senior role on the Lidl Board.