Denis Olivennes has stepped down as CEO of France's leading entertainment retailer Fnac to join French national information magazine Nouvel Observateur.

"During five years, Denis Olivennes successfully modernized Fnac's economic model", parent French group PPR announced this morning via a statement. Fnac's turnover grew 20% over the period, at €4.6 billion ($7.1 billion) in 2007, with a two-figure growth on recurring operating income since 2003 (+15% in 2007, at €199 million ($311 million)).

The share of CD sales in Fnac's turnover was of 17.6% in 2007, compared with 22.9% in 2004, earliest figure available from PPR at press time. According to PPR, Fnac accounted for 28.6% of CD sales in France in 2007, up from 27.2% in 2006.

Olivennes initiated a click and mortar strategy for Fnac notably with the opening of stores abroad and in the outskirts of France's main cities. At the end of 2007, the chain counted 130 outlets - 77 in France and 53 abroad. International operations accounted for 28.6% of Fnac's turnover in 2007.
In 2008, the retailer intends to open ten stores internationally and at least 3 in France.

In parallel of his role of Fnac's CEO, Olivennes led a mission for French government in 2007 to create the conditions for a digital entertainment market. This mission will lead to a law currently in preparation.

Olivennes will be replaced in his role by Christophe Cuvillier "before the summer", a PPR spokesperson told Billboard.biz. Cuvillier was Fnac director general from 2000 to 2005. He is currently the CEO of PPR's furniture chain Conforama.