NEW YORK, AUG. 10 -- Robert Campeau, the Canadian retailer whose empire foundered under the weight of debt, was ousted today as chairman and chief executive of his own company.

Campeau Corp.'s board made the announcement from its Toronto headquarters. Robert Campeau remains a director of the company he founded more than 40 years ago.

Campeau, 66, used billions of dollars of borrowed money to acquire American department stores in the 1980s, expanding his holdings to well-known names ranging from Jordan Marsh to Bloomingdale's.

But his U.S. retailing operations staggered under the weight of this debt and sought bankruptcy protection in January. He has faced further pressure because of additional debts, including personal loans, and the declining value of his company's stock.

Campeau Corp.'s board appointed James D. Raymond, a director of the National Bank of Canada, and Gary M. Goodman, an executive with Olympia & York Developments Ltd. of Toronto, to the office of chief executive on an interim basis. It also named Robert Despres, a Canadian investor, as chairman of the company. Campeau Corp.'s department store divisions, Federated Department Stores Inc. and Allied Stores Corp., had a combined debt of $7.7 billion when they sought protection from creditors. Robert Campeau lost control of the retailing operations shortly after they filed for bankruptcy.