CARREFOUR CEO BERNARD SAID TO STEP DOWN

PARIS -- Carrefour here last week said its chairman and chief executive officer, Daniel Bernard, would be leaving the company after a 13-year tenure at the helm of the world's second-largest retailer, according to media reports.led in its effort to meet earnings expectations last fall.The multinational supermarket and hypermarket operator, which generated $64.7 billion in sales last year from 10,700

PARIS -- Carrefour here last week said its chairman and chief executive officer, Daniel Bernard, would be leaving the company after a 13-year tenure at the helm of the world's second-largest retailer, according to media reports.

led in its effort to meet earnings expectations last fall.

The multinational supermarket and hypermarket operator, which generated $64.7 billion in sales last year from 10,700 stores in more than 30 countries, elevated its chief financial officer, Jose Luis Duran, 40, to succeed Bernard as CEO. In addition, Luc Vandevelde, the former CEO of British retailer Marks & Spencer, was named non-executive chairman.

Carrefour has been struggling with its French hypermarkets, according to reports, as its market share has been eroding amid turnover in the top ranks of the management of that division. The board reportedly had given Bernard a deadline of the end of 2004 to improve the business.

As the new chairman, Vandevelde, 54, brings experience in the French supermarket industry. He was CEO of French retailer Promodes when that company merged with Carrefour in 1999. He also was asked to serve on Carrefour's supervisory board last year as a representative of the Halley family, which owns 13% of the company.

He is expected to accelerate the company's planned divestments of non-core assets, reports indicated, in addition to his focus on improving performance in France.