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Blue Square Israel has fired two vice presidents, VP Marketing Sandrine Montesuma and VP Operations Miki Lev, Haaretz has learned.

The dismissals come as part of the firm's broad policy of transfering responsibility over its chain stores from centralized operations and marketing departments to the branch managers themselves. Blue Square intends to implement a similar strategy at its subsidiary chains Shefa Shuk, which serves the ultra-Orthodox sector, Mega, the discount chain, and Super Center.

Montesuma, 35, took over as VP marketing just a year and a half ago. Prior to joining Blue Square, she served in several positions at Elite, starting with bakery department manager in 1999. When Elite split the department into two - chocolates and sweets and baked goods - she was named general manager of the baked goods company as well as a member of Elite's management board. She was then appointed marketing and strategy manager at the end of 2002.

When Elite merged with Strauss, Montesuma decided to leave the company.

Before joining Elite, Montesuma held a series of positions at Procter & Gamble Israel, leading some of its big product launches including Pantene hair products and Head & Shoulders shampoo. She also served as a manager for Pringles Europe.