Europe

French economy chief Macron, eyeing presidential bid, quits

  • FILE - In this July 12, 2016 file photo, French Economy Minister Emmanuel Macron, center right, delivers a speech during a political rally for his movement, En Marche! (Forward!), in Paris. Macron, an outspoken former investment banker who has encouraged start-ups and more labor flexibility, has quit the socialist government Tuesday Aug. 30, 2016 amid speculation that he is considering a presidential bid. (AP Photo/Thibault Camus, File)

    FILE - In this July 12, 2016 file photo, French Economy Minister Emmanuel Macron, center right, delivers a speech during a political rally for his movement, En Marche! (Forward!), in Paris. Macron, an outspoken former investment banker who has encouraged start-ups and more labor flexibility, has quit the socialist government Tuesday Aug. 30, 2016 amid speculation that he is considering a presidential bid. (AP Photo/Thibault Camus, File)  (The Associated Press)

  • FILE - In this March 14, 2016 file photo, Economy Minister Emmanuel Macron gives a press conference, in Paris. Macron, an outspoken former investment banker who has encouraged start-ups and more labor flexibility, has quit the socialist government Tuesday Aug. 30, 2016 amid speculation that he is considering a presidential bid. (AP Photo/Thibault Camus, File)

    FILE - In this March 14, 2016 file photo, Economy Minister Emmanuel Macron gives a press conference, in Paris. Macron, an outspoken former investment banker who has encouraged start-ups and more labor flexibility, has quit the socialist government Tuesday Aug. 30, 2016 amid speculation that he is considering a presidential bid. (AP Photo/Thibault Camus, File)  (The Associated Press)

  • FILE - In this Jan.6, 2016 file photo, French Economy Minister Emmanuel Macron waves as he leaves after a visit to a shopping center. Macron, an outspoken former investment banker who has encouraged start-ups and more labor flexibility, has quit the socialist government Tuesday Aug. 30, 2016 amid speculation that he is considering a presidential bid. (AP Photo/Christophe Ena; File)

    FILE - In this Jan.6, 2016 file photo, French Economy Minister Emmanuel Macron waves as he leaves after a visit to a shopping center. Macron, an outspoken former investment banker who has encouraged start-ups and more labor flexibility, has quit the socialist government Tuesday Aug. 30, 2016 amid speculation that he is considering a presidential bid. (AP Photo/Christophe Ena; File)  (The Associated Press)

French Economy Minister Emmanuel Macron, an outspoken former investment banker who has encouraged start-ups and more labor flexibility, has quit the socialist government amid speculation that he is considering a presidential bid.

An official in President Francois Hollande's office announced Tuesday that Finance Minister Michel Sapin will take over Macron's responsibilities. The official was not authorized to be publicly named.

Macron started a political movement this year but hasn't said whether he'll run for president. While polls show he enjoys wide popularity, it's unclear whether he could translate that into votes.

Critics in Hollande's Socialist Party say Macron has betrayed leftist ideals by pushing France toward an American-style business model with laws loosening labor rules.

Macron, 38, argues that France needs change to stay competitive internationally. He has never held elected office.