PARIS — Sportswear maker Lacoste SA has named Sophie Lacoste Dournel as president of its non-executive board of directors following a meeting of shareholders.


Lacoste Dournel, 36, replaces her father Michel Lacoste in the role.


“By giving me their trust, the shareholders of Lacoste SA and the members of the board of directors have validated my plans for the firm,” Lacoste Dournel, who is the granddaughter of company founder René Lacoste, stated. “I am very proud to have been chosen to lead the transition to a new generation.”


According to reports in the French media, the choice of the company’s president is causing rifts in the Lacoste family, which controls 65 percent of the company.

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Michel Lacoste was said to be supporting the nomination of his niece, Marie-Beryl Lacoste Hamilton, rather than his daughter, from whom he is estranged, and had threatened to take the matter to court should his daughter be voted president by the family members.


A spokesman for Lacoste said Monday he had no information on potential legal proceedings, but confirmed that Lacoste Dournel had not been the existing president’s choice.


Sophie Lacoste Dournel has been a non-executive board member for the firm since 2005. She also created the Fondation René Lacoste charitable foundation, and is a member of its executive committee.