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CEO Of German Fashion Brand Zalando Is Stepping Down So He Can Help Wife Focus On Her Career. We Need More Men Like Him

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To women, it is always taught that marriage is like a see-saw. If one person wants to go up, the other has to go down (not in the kinky way). This formula applies to a number of situations, like when one spouse’s temper is high, the other has to cool their’s down or the fight would never end. If one wants to pursue a brilliant career opportunity, the other has to support them or there might be resentment. Sacrifice is the salt of this relationship. Which is essentially not so much a problem as is the fact that wives tend to have to sacrifice more often than husbands do. Unless you’re the wife of the co-CEO of German fashion brand, Zalando, Rubin Ritter, who knows that he has had his share of fun on the see-saw by being on top. He must now go down, so he can help his wife reach the summit too.

Rubin Ritter is one of three co-CEOs of Zalando, one of the biggest European online fashion brands, and has been holding the position since 2010. The other two are Robert Gentz and David Schneider, who will stay on and take over Ritter’s responsibilities. On Sunday, the company announced that Ritter would be stepping down, a full two years earlier than was planned, so he could help his wife focus on her career, as well as spend time with his family.

Image: Zalando

As reported by Business Insider, in an official statement, Ritter said, “I want to devote more time to my growing family. My wife and I have agreed that for the coming years, her professional ambitions should take priority.”

Zalando has been functional since 2008, and has grown to become Europe’s largest online fashion store. It currently offers its services in 17 countries and brought in USD 2.24 billion in revenue in just the third quarter of 2020. In fact, Cristina Stenbeck, the chairperson of Zalando’s supervisory board, went on to call 2020 as the most extraordinary year in Zalando’s history. Possibly because the pandemic forced people indoors and drove them to shop online more. She thanked Ritter for his leadership.

Furthermore, Ritter’s co-CEO David Schneider has said that he has been a role model for many in their company, which employs roughly 14,000 staff.

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Okay, Rubin Ritter seems like a capital fellow, then. Because not many men choose to step down from such a high-flying position when they are at the top of their game. I mean, sure, we ought to normalise this for men, because women do it all the time. And I know many will go on about how we set such low standards for men that they impress us with the most bare minimum they do. But I can assure you, Ritter’s decision, if it is for the reason they have said it is, couldn’t have been easier.

Since my choice in men and my romantic luck is a sux, I’ve had to go for that whole arranged marriage shebang. And every rishta auntie or marriage bureau counsellor that I have met has in a million different ways tried to tell me that at some point, I am going to have to prioritise my husband’s career over mine. The same gyaan is given to me when I insist that I won’t marry a boy who lives out of Mumbai, because I do not want to leave the career opportunities that the city affords me.

But baby girl, nobody cares about your job, they say. You’re a university gold medallist? You have Pulitzer potential? You could write the next Harry Potter? Pfft who cares! Drop everything and support your man. And maybe if he finds it in himself to support you back, you’re lucky. Or not. Or worse, he could turn out to be like Rahul Bose’s character from Dil Dhadakne Do, who ‘allows’ his wife to work and run like a Fortune 500 company because he wants to seem feminist as long as his own male ego isn’t hurt.

So I am going to go ahead and give Rubin Ritter, soon-to-be ex-CEO of Zalando, a virtual pat on his back for what he is doing. Indeed, he seems like a role model for other men right now. And we hope, this is a trend that catches on.

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