Carrefour's new CEO Georges Plassat has assumed office this week, one month earlier than expected. At first, Carrefour and Plassat's predecessor Lars Olofsson had agreed to part ways on 18 June, but the board of directors have now decided that Olofsson's departure would be immediate.
Sudden move after long battle
Carrefour (and, mostly, its shareholders) has been in a lengthy battle with Olofsson for years, but this decision still came as a big surprise: no one really knows what drove the board to suddenly move faster. The chain only commented that every condition had been met to shorten the transitional period.
In that period, since 29 January, Plassat has been working as COO to “get to know the company”. In that position, he has already organised meetings with the unions and ended the contract of two senior managers.
Despite the sudden move by the board, analysts expect that Plassat will be more cautious when revealing his strategy and vision for Carrefour's future. Most even think he will postpone that announcement to coincide with that of the semi-annual results in August. At this moment, it is still largely unknown to what extent Plassat will live up to his name of “merciless cost-cutter”.