Blue Capital Prompts Carrefour CEO Switch

LONDON (Reuters) – France’s Carrefour SA (CARR.PA: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz), the world’s second-largest retailer, is set to replace chief executive Jose Luis Duran with Nestle SA (NESN.VX: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) executive Lars Olofsson, The Financial Times newspaper reported on Tuesday.

The FT said the announcement would be made this week, possibly as early as Tuesday and that Duran would stay on as CEO until the end of the year.

Olofsson has been an in charge of Nestle’s strategic business units, marketing and sales since 2005, according to the Swiss food company’s website.

Carrefour has been struggling in its home market, with third-quarter like-for-like hypermarket sales up just 2.1 percent, including fuel, helped by a 1 percent rise in food sales and as nonfood sales dropped 3.3 percent.

The FT said Carrefour investor Blue Capital, which owns 14 percent of the company, believe Duran has not acted quickly enough to counter problems at Europe’s biggest retailer.

Blue Capital is controlled by French billionaire Bernard Arnault and U.S. private equity group Colony Capital. (Reporting by Dan Lalor; Editing by Andre Grenon)