Jérôme Bédier, head of French retail body FCD, is stepping down after 15 years as the public face of French retailing to take up a post in the private sector.

Bédier’s executive duties at the Fédération des Entreprises du Commerce et de la Distribution will be taken up by Jacques Creyssel as délégué général, a former director of the employers’ association Mouvement des Entreprises de France (MEDEF).

The operational head of Belgian retailer Delhaize, François Bouriez, will become the new president of FCD. Bouriez will be supported by Auchan hypermarkets director general Philippe Baroukh as secretary and Casino external relations director André Crestey.

The FCD membership is primarily in French food retailing, a sector which employs 635,000 staff at 1,400 hypermarkets, 5,600 supermarkets, 3,700 discount outlets and 15,500 corner shops.