The boss of Lidl’s UK business has left the company after overseeing the German discount supermarket chain’s rapid rise in the country. Ronny Gottschlich has been replaced as chief executive of Lidl Great Britain by 34 year-old Christian Hartnagel.

Mr Gottschlich oversaw Lidl’s expansion to more than 630 stores in the six years he spent as chief executive. The company has not disclosed the reason for his sudden departure.

In a statement it said: “The business is extremely grateful for Ronny’s contribution throughout his six years as Lidl GB CEO during which time he steered the business forward through a transformative period.”

The UK boss Mr Hartnagel was previously a board director for Lidl Austria, responsible for sales and operations.

Along with fellow German discount chain Aldi, Lidl has shaken up the UK grocery sector and sparked a bitter supermarket price war by capturing market share from Tesco, Asda, Sainsbury’s and Morrisons.

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