FRANCE: Unions slam Knight Vinke Carrefour demands
Unions representing Carrefour staff across Europe have criticised the demands made by one of the retailer's investors for changes to how the company is run.
The unions called proposals put forward by investment fund Knight Vinke "hostile and highly detrimental" to the world's second-largest retailer.
Last week, Carrefour issued another profit warning, prompting Knight Vinke, which owns 1.5% of the French retailer, to demand the company to appoint an independent chairman.
In an open letter to the Carrefour board, shareholders and employees, Eric Knight, the fund's CEO, said the retailer's performance had been "very poor". He questioned how the retailer was running its programme to revamp 500 hypermarkets as Carrefour Planet.
Mr Knight asked whether Carrefour chairman and CEO Lars Olofsson could judge the performance of the project, which the investor called "one of the most ambitious tranformation programmes ever undertaken in retailing".
"[Olofsson] is both supervisor and supervisee, at least as far as Planet is concerned. As chairman he is required to form a judgment on the performance of the project - either good or bad - whilst being at the same time the project's initiator and the person responsible for its implementation. This situation is far from being ideal," Mr Knight wrote.
The fund also put forward the idea of the retailer having two chief executives - one for France and one for emerging markets. The move, Mr Knight said, would reduce "complexity" at the business and increase efficiency.
However, the unions said they supported Carrefour's strategy and accused Knight Vinke of looking to "destabilise" the retailer to make it easier to break up the business.
What should apparel firms have learnt from the upheaval of the past couple of years - and what should they be doing now if they want to remain competitive into the future? Buyers and manufacturers nee...
Greg Foran, who moved from Woolworths Ltd to Wal-Mart last autumn, has been named as the US retail giant's new chief in China. As Dean Best writes, Foran is taking charge of one of Wal-Mart's most cha...
Tesco today (18 April) said it would spend GBP1bn (US$1.55bn) in a bid to revitalise its domestic operations as it confirmed that full-year like-for-like sales and profits in the UK have dropped. Neve...
Europe's largest retailer Carrefour reported a 14% fall in annual profits and said it would cut spending capex this year. Here is a flavour of what leading retail analysts said about Carrefour's recen...
After a tumultuous three years at the helm of the world's second-largest grocery retailer, Carrefour chairman and CEO Lars Olofsson is set to be replaced by Georges Plassat....
Carrefour has booked a drop in first-quarter sales, hit by weakness in its French hypermarkets and a "difficult" trading environment in Europe....
Europe's largest retailer Carrefour has posted a 14.3% drop in full-year profits to EUR371m (US$490.3m) and said it will cut back on capital spending in anticipation of a tough year ahead....
French group Vivarte, which has an extensive portfolio of clothing and footwear retail brands, is set to appoint Antoine Metzger to the post of CEO....
- DENIM DAYS: Jeans innovation bursting at the seams
- How will TPP emerge from fast-track trade bill?
- Adidas pushing self-governance for suppliers
- Rana Plaza two years on: Challenges and concerns
- US fashion industry applauds trade bills package
- Under Armour hailed "next global athletic company"
- Myanmar garment workers strike deal
- Orta and Garmon launch denim chemical screening
- Gap’s woes “not so easy to fix”
- Wal-Mart simplifies management structure