Retail giant Carrefour today (30 January) announced Georges Plassat will replace Lars Olofsson as chairman and CEO.

Carrefour’s board of directors yesterday unanimously voted to appoint Georges Plassat, currently CEO of retail group Vivarte, to take the top spot.

The announcement marks the end of rumours about the retailer’s interest in Plassat that first appeared in the French press in November – reports Carrefour strenuously denied. Shares dropped 2.65% to EUR17.78 (US$23.32) as of 11.17am CET.

According to a company statement, Olofsson informed the board that he would not seek “the renewal of his mandate as chairman and chief executive officer” at the next Carrefour shareholders’ meeting in June.

Plassat, former executive director of Carrefour’s Spanish operations, will join the world’s second largest retailer on 2 April as COO for a short transition period before being formally appointed CEO at the end of the shareholders’ meeting. His appointment to Carrefour’s board of directors will be submitted to shareholder approval.

The statement added: “Georges Plassat declared he is well aware of the magnitude of the task ahead, which will require the support of all within the company.”

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Earlier this month Carrefour announced a dip in sales and confirmed annual profits would be “at the lower end” of the 15% to 20% fall it issued in October.