The chairman and CEO of Pernod Ricard has confirmed that he will retire from one of the positions at the end of the company's next financial year.

At Pernod's general meeting today (7 November), Patrick Ricard announced that he would stand down from his post as CEO in November next year. He will be replaced by current managing director, Pierre Pringuet in the role, but Ricard will continue as chairman of the board.

Pringuet has been MD at Pernod since 2000, initially sharing the role with Richard Burrows, taking sole control of the position when Burrows left the company at the end of 2005.

Separately, Pernod today appointed Nicole Bouton, chairman and founder of Financiere Centuria Group, as a director for a four-year term.

The company also approved a dividend distribution for the 2006/07 year of EUR2.52. An interim dividend of EUR1.26 was paid in July, with the balance set to be paid to shareholders on 14 November.

Finally, the plan to introduce a one-for-one share split was approved at the meeting. The split, scheduled to take place in January, will see Pernod's share value halve from EUR3.10 to EUR1.55. "This decision will enhance the liquidity of the Pernod Ricard share and therefore make it more accessible to individual shareholders," the company said.