It is all change at Carrefour Europe’s largest retailer. Out goes Lars Olofsson, who failed to revive the French group’s ailing hypermarkets, and presided over a series of profit warnings which saw its shares fall forty three percent in a year.
He is replaced by retail veteran Georges Plassat which seems to imply Carrefour’s key shareholders are not planning to break it up and sell off the faster-growing emerging market businesses.
Carrefour has been struggling for years, partly due to its reliance on hypermarkets, which have been losing out as time-pressed shoppers buy more goods locally and online, and prefer to purchase general merchandise from specialist stores.
Plassat is the 62-year-old head of private equity-backed retailer Vivarte, which owns the Kookai clothing brand. He spent 14 years at French retailer Casino and two years at Carrefour Spain before joining Vivarte in 2000.
Analysts said his depth of experience in both France and general merchandise could help address Carrefour’s key problems, in contrast to Olofsson, who came to the company from a career largely in marketing at Swiss food giant Nestle.