French sports retailer Decathlon names Barbara Martin Coppola as new group CEO

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The logo of Decathlon is seen at the entrance of the French sports equipment and sportswear company Decathlon store in Merignac near Bordeaux July 10, 2014. The group, number one in French distribution of sports equipment, with 730 stores worldwide, of which 262 are in France, focuses on the variety of its in-house brands to accelerate its growth and its expansion plans. Picture taken July 10, 2014. REUTERS/Regis Duvignau

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PARIS, Jan 25 (Reuters) - French sports retailer Decathlon named 45-year old Barbara Martin Coppola, a former executive at companies such as IKEA and Google (GOOGL.O), as its new global chief executive.

Coppola will replace Michel Aballea, who had held the role since 2015, in mid-March this year, added Decathlon, which competes in France with companies such as Go Sport.

Decathlon said it was in good financial shape, echoing bullish updates recently given by sportswear companies such as Puma (PUMG.DE) and JD Sports (JD.L), which have performed well despite the COVID-19 pandemic. read more

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"The current good health of Decathlon and our strong ambitions encourage us to accelerate the transformation of our business model to better assert our position as a world leader in sport," said Decathlon chairman Fabien Derville.

"We are convinced that Barbara will be able to lead this transformation while respecting our values," added Derville.

According to Decathlon's website, the company registered sales of 11.4 billion euros ($12.9 billion). The Mulliez family, which also owns the Auchan supermarket chain, owns the majority shareholding in Decathlon.

($1 = 0.8872 euros)

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Reporting by Sudip Kar-Gupta; Editing by Dominique Vidalon

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