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Carrefour chief executive to be replaced

Text by AFP

Latest update : 2008-11-18

French retail giant Carrefour has announced the departure of its chief executive Jose Luis Duran, following tension with the main shareholders. He will be replaced by Lars Olofsson, currently at Nestlé. Carrefour's shares rose on the news.

Shares in French retailing giant Carrefour gained ground on Tuesday, in contrast to a sharp fall on the overall Paris market, following the replacement of its chief executive.

The world's second-biggest retailer was showing a gain of 0.27 percent at 29.90 euros in mid-morning trade on a Paris market that was down nearly 2.5 percent.

Carrefour announced the departure of chief executive Jose Luis Duran and said Nestle executive Lars Olofsson of Sweden would be proposed to a shareholder general assembly as his replacement.

The decision "brings to an end several months of friction between Jose Luis Duran and the leading shareholder in Carrefour," an alliance between French business leader Bernard Arnault and the investment fund Colony Capital, said Credit Mutuel-CIC analyst Christian Devismes.

"Lars Oloffson should reassure staff at Carrefour who might have feared the appointment of a a pure finance manager," he said, adding that Olofsson had made his career at food group Nestle, where he is currently executive vice chairman.

But Devismes also said that Oloffson would probably have "limited" room for manoeuvre in his new post and might well carry on with initiatives started by Duran.

Date created : 2008-11-18