French luxury goods group PPR SA says its founder's son, Francois-Henri Pinault, is taking over from Serge Weinberg  as the group's chief executive.

The announcement came after a board meeting yesterday, in which PPR said the group would also switch to a single board of directors instead of its present two-tier board structure.

Pinault - currently chairman of the Artemis holding company, which has a 42 per cent stake in PPR - will take on the role on 21 March.

Weinberg will now set up an investment board, supported by Artemis. Over his ten-year tenure at PPR, he has seen it transform from a multi-faceted conglomerate into a retail-and-luxury-focused group.

PPR became the world's third-largest luxury group after taking a majority stake in Italian luxury goods company Gucci Group in September 2001.