Aldi has appointed one of its longest-serving executives as joint group managing director, moving to the dual-management model in place at Aldi operations around the world.
German-born Stefan Kopp, who was part of the team that arrived in Australia in 2000 to launch the discount retailer, will run Aldi alongside Tom Daunt, who has been group managing director for three years.
Mr Kopp, who started his new role last week, joined the company 23 years ago and has been head of buying for the past three years.
The new structure shows that Aldi has reached sufficient size in Australia to support a dual-management model.
Aldi's 340 stores in Queensland, NSW, ACT and Victoria generate sales of $5 billion to $6 billion a year and, according to Roy Morgan Research, it has overtaken Metcash's IGA network as the third-largest supermarket chain in Australia with 10.3 per cent of the market.
''Australia has been the only country that's operated for the past 10 years with a single group managing director,'' Mr Daunt said. ''We do many things in Aldi that are a little bit different [because] we believe in better outcomes.
''One of the disadvantages of being a CEO is you have very few people with which you have an honest sounding board.
''We found internationally over the years that having a joint managing structure - as long as the company was big enough and can afford it - is enormously beneficial because you have the ability to bounce ideas off each other.''
Aldi has defied sceptics who claimed it would never find sufficient sites and that its narrow range of private-label or exclusive brands would not resonate with Australian shoppers.
The company has tweaked its offerings over the years so most consumers can now do a full grocery shop - expanding its range from 700 to 1500 products and adding national brands such as Coca-Cola, Milo, Vegemite and Nescafe to its range, which is about 90 per cent private-label.
The chain has opened about 25 stores a year on the eastern seaboard since 2001 and plans to open between 105 and 115 stores in South Australia and Western Australia over the next few years. The company serves about 4.2 million customers a month.