Auchan changes management team and structure

Date : 12 January 2021

Jon Wright

Head of Insight - RA EMEA

France trade publication LSA has reported that Auchan Group has changed its management team to bring in new governance of the group with the appointment for each country of a president and vice-president.

Management changes aimed at accelerating decentralisation process

LSA, quoting a document, said the appointments are ‘…a question of accelerating the move towards decentralisation by allowing greater responsibility and autonomy for all Auchan employees, while maintaining the pride of belonging to a whole serving the same aim: “a food culture”. The decentralisation process that has been initiated will be amplified and consolidated by the gradual transformation of Auchan's organisation into a federation of companies in autonomous countries’.

Process next step in driving growth and profitability

The focus on country autonomy will be a contrast to Auchan’s centralisation of operations and processes to date. LSA said the initiative was aimed ‘to allow the emergence of business projects by country, implemented by and for local teams’ by enabling ‘each country to become a truly autonomous company led by a general manager, who… will promote decision-making and initiatives as close as possible to the local market’.

New management structure being established

The new management structure will see each country have a chief executive, a president, and a vice-president. To create space for the new structure, Auchan Retail International’s current global board will be disbanded and replaced by a new committee.

By region and country area, LSA reported the new appointments are:

Auchan France and Auchan Luxembourg:

  • Chairman: Francis Cordelette
  • Vice-Chairman: Alexandre Mulliez

Auchan Russia:

  • Chairman: Philippe Brochard
  • Vice-president: Odile Molle

Auchan Spain and Auchan Portugal:

  • Chairman: Yves Claude
  • Vice-president: Maxime Van Der Wees

Auchan Poland and Auchan Romania:

  • Chairman: Benoît Lheureux
  • Vice-Chairman: David Mulliez

Auchan Ukraine / Hungary / Taiwan and partnerships:

  • Chairman: Edgard Bonte

Auchan Africa:

  • President: Fatoumata Ba
  • Vice-president: Théophile Lemaître

New chief executive for Russia too

Auchan Russia, meanwhile, has appointed Ivan Martinovich as its new chief executive, who will replace Johannes Tolay, according to reports from local publication Kommersant. Martinovich, who currently manages Auchan’s supermarket format, will take over from 1 February. The new appointment follows another challenging year for Auchan in Russia. In its H1 results it reported like-for-like sales fell by 3.9% in Central and Eastern Europe, with Russia dragging down the region’s performance. Given the on-going challenges being faced by Auchan in the country, where it is lagging competitors, Martinovich will face a difficult operating environment in which to turn around the retailer’s performance in 2021.