Jean Fernandez has been named as the new manager of Montpellier.
Nicollin said: "I have wanted to work with this man with whom I share values
for a long time but the circumstances never allowed us to do so."
Fernandez has previously managed clubs in Tunisia and Saudi Arabia as well as in France, where he was named manager of the year in the 2009-10 season after guiding Auxerre into the Champions League.
Girard will leave Montpellier after joining the club in 2009 and leading them
to a surprise Ligue 1 title last season, the first in the club's history.