AMAZON.COM FRENCH CHIEF QUITS

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PARIS -- Compounding Amazon.com's ongoing difficulties to crack the French market, Denis Terrien, founder and president of the online retailer's French-language site, has resigned.

Mr. Terrien, 36, left the company of his own accord, said Diego Piacentini, Amazon.com's senior vice president and general manager for international operations. Analysts, however, widely believe that Mr. Terrien's departure is closely linked to the failure by www.amazon.fr to surpass top online retailer Fnac.com, operated by the Pinault Printemps Redoute holding company, in sales of books, music and films.

Already nominated to succeed him is Georges Aoun, 30, who served as Mr. Terrien's right-hand man during Amazon.com's lengthy formation period.

One of Mr. Aoun's immediate tasks will be to fill the post of marketing director, vacated early this year by veteran French advertising woman Cecile Moulard.

The second task on Mr. Aoun's agenda will be maximizing visits and revenue from a series of new online boutiques launched in late April, including sites specializing in computer programs and video games. -- Lawrence J. Speer

Copyright May 2001, Crain Communications Inc.

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