Luc Vandevelde has resigned as chairman of Carrefour amid increasing speculation that the French supermarket chain could be the subject of a takeover.

Vandevelde joined Carrefour in 2004 from M&S, where he was chairman for four years. Prior to M&S he was president and chief operating officer of European retailer Promodès. He has also worked for Kraft Foods.

Reports suggest Vandevelde had fallen out with the Halley family, which owns a 13% stake in Carrefour. He will be replaced by Robert Halley. Carrefour thanked Vandevelde but said the departure was "guided by the interests of Carrefour and its shareholders".