The changes come as part of a shake up that will see the board separate into a supervisory board and management board, with the former assuming overall control. A statement from the retailer said Bernard did not wish to preside over either. Former Marks & Spencer chairman Luc Vandevelde will become president of the supervisory board, while Duran, who has been given the role of chief executive officer, will head the management board.
Bernard had lost favour with investors, including the Halley family, who hold a 13 per cent stake. He also failed to stem falling sales, and presided over a profit warning late last year. As reported in Retail Week last March, the appointment of Vandevelde as non-executive chairman is also anticipated. He has represented the Halley family on the Carrefour board since last April.
Broker Merrill Lynch believes Duran's appointment will be welcomed. 'We see Duran as dynamic and a force for change,' it noted.
- Fellow French captain of industry Serge Weinberg stepped down this week after a decade at the head of retail conglomerate Pinault-Printemps-Redoute. Francois-Henri Pinault succeeds him as chairman.