The CEO of Auchan wants to protect the group’s 30,000 employees.
The retail chain Auchan plans to maintain its activities in Russia and Ukraine, says the CEO of Auchan Retail International, Yves Claude, in an interview published in The Sunday Journal. “The most important thing for us is to preserve our employees and to ensure our primary mission, which is to continue to feed the populations in these two countries.he says. Leaving would be conceivable from an economic point of view but not from a human point of view.”
In response to these statements, the Ukrainian Foreign Minister called for a boycott of Auchan stores and all their products: “Apparently the job losses in Russia are greater than the loss of life in Ukraine”wrote Dmitro Kuleba on Twitter.
In The JDDYves Claude explains the choice to stay in Russia by a concern “to help our collaborators and the civilian populations.”
“If Auchan leaves, we will deprive 30,000 people of employment. They are employees and shareholders for 40% of them. Not to mention the impact on their families that this decision would weaken. And our customers are urging us to stay”he explains.
The risk of expropriation
Owned by the Mulliez family, Auchan operates 40 supermarkets and has approximately 6,000 employees in Ukraine. The group has, according to Yves Claude, 231 stores and e-commerce activities in Russia.
“If we leave, we risk expropriation and we expose our local leaders to criminal prosecution for fraudulent bankruptcy. And if we entrust our assets to a third party, another option offered, it means that they will be taken over by Russian capitalexplains Yves Claude. This will not bring peace and will instead be counterproductive in strengthening the Russian economic and financial ecosystem.”
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy considers it necessary for all Western companies to leave the Russian market, as he notably informed the French Parliament on Wednesday. “Renault, Auchan, Leroy Merlin must stop sponsoring Russia’s war machine, stop financing the murder of children and women, the rapeshe said. Everyone must remember that values are worth more than profits.”