Gerd Koschik – member of Ara Shoes' executive board and its chief operating officer, responsible for production/technology, human resources and logistics – is retiring at the end of this year. He has also been president of the German shoe and leather goods industry association, HDS/L, since 2009. Jens Christian Meier, newly appointed to the executive board, will be assuming most of Koschik's responsibilities at Ara Shoes, taking charge of production/technology, purchasing, strategic planning and logistics. Meier previously sat on the executive boards of Keen, Ecco, Elefanten and Legero United. Thomas Schmies, who heads finance and controlling, IT and the legal division at Ara Shoes, left the executive board of Ara Shoes last month. However, he is retaining his seat on the executive board at Ara AG and will be concentrating on his responsibilities at that company from now on. Schmies has been fulfilling various management functions within the group since 2004. He is also a member of the executive board of the HDS/L. Sascha Müller, who joined Ara Shoes as commercial director in May, has been appointed chief financial officer, taking over Schmies' responsibilities. Müller has previously worked as chief financial officer for Depot. Ara Shoes' executive board now consists of Patrick Wöseler, chief executive officer; Jans Christian Meier, chief operating officer; Sascha Müller, chief financial officer; and Kresimir Zovak, chief marketing officer.