French cheese maker Fromageries Bel has announced that CEO Gerard Boivin will stand down at the company's AGM in May as the group's board looks to tighten corporate governance practices.

The board of directors, which is controlled by the Bel and Fievet families, has indicated its willingness to put in place a number of measures to improve the company's standard of corporate governance.

In particular, the company intends to separate the functions of the board - which will determine the group's general direction - and its operational management, with the appointment of a non-executive chairman and a general director.

Antoine Fievet is likely to fill the role of non-executive chairman. Fievet is currently chairman of the board of directors of Ubibel, the holding company that controls Bel.

Bel owns a number of household brands, including The Laughing Cow, Leerdammer and Babybel.

In 2007, Bel bought cheese brand Boursin from Unilever in a EUR400m (US$511.6m) deal.