Couche-Tard chief executive Alain Bouchard has announced he will stand down as CEO of the Canadian retailer and take up a new role of executive chairman.

Bouchard will be replaced by COO Brian Hannasch, who will take over as president and CEO on 24 September.

Commenting on the move, Bouchard emphasised Hannasch's experience within the Couche-Tard organisation. "He has been intimately involved in developing our strategy, improving our business and he has played a pivotal role in the material acquisitions we made over the last thirteen years, including our largest and most recent, Statoil Fuel & Retail in Europe," Bouchard said.

Réal Plourde, chairman of Couche-Tard's board, said Bouchard will continue to "play an active role" in Couche-Tard's development.

The responsibilities of chief operating officer will be shared by Couche-Tard's executive management team.

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Couche-Tard Announces Changes at the Management Level Change Language 

LAVAL, QC, March 18, 2014 /PRNewswire/ - Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc. (« Couche-Tard ») (TSX: ATD.A ATD.B) announces today that corporation founder Mr. Alain Bouchard, has decided to take a new role as Founder and Executive Chairman of the Board of Directors starting September 24, 2014, the date of the next Couche-Tard shareholders' annual meeting. At the same time, Couche-Tard's Chief Operating Officer, Mr. Brian Hannasch, will be promoted to the position of President and Chief Executive Officer.

"Mr. Bouchard has been a remarkable leader. He is a pioneer in the convenience store industry and has taken Couche-Tard from a single store to a worldwide network of over 12,600 stores and 80,000 people," said Mr. Réal Plourde, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Couche-Tard. "The Board is grateful for his innumerable contributions to Couche-Tard in his distinguished tenure as President and CEO. We are pleased that he will pursue his journey in a new role as Founder and Executive Chairman of the Board of Directors, where he will continue to play an active role in Couche-Tard's growth and development," added Mr. Plourde.

"I have had the privilege of realizing a life-long dream," said Mr. Bouchard, "Of developing, together with extremely talented colleagues, a great, global convenience store and fuel chain we can all be proud of. Now, after more than three decades as President and CEO, it's time to continue my journey with Couche-Tard from a new perspective. I see this change as an evolution. It will let me invest more of my time in acquisitions and new industry opportunities. I will still be at the office on a daily basis, will take part in the results review every four weeks and the budgeting process. I will also take part in the strategic discussions and serve as a mentor and coach to our next generation of leaders."

"We have an amazing senior leadership team, and Brian is the right person to lead it. He has been intimately involved in developing our strategy, improving our business and he has played a pivotal role in the material acquisitions we made over the last thirteen years, including our largest and most recent, Statoil Fuel & Retail in Europe. His decisive leadership, his management skills and his deep experience across the entire value chain of our business uniquely qualify him to step into this role. He is well-respected across our industry, he inspires our people, and he embodies Couche-Tard's core values." added Mr. Bouchard.

"I am both humbled and excited by the opportunity to lead Couche-Tard," said Mr. Hannasch, "particularly in a landscape that offers both challenges and unprecedented opportunities. We will stand firm by the DNA that has made Couche-Tard what it is today, and continue to act decisively to maintain our strong competitive position." He concluded "I look forward to building on Alain's legacy and, together with our talented, committed, skilled and experienced people, from the shop floor to the boardroom, to taking Couche-Tard to even greater heights."
The responsibilities of Chief Operating Officer will be shared by Couche-Tard's executive management team.

Original source: Couche-Tard