The head of a five-star hotel in the French resort town of Cannes was kidnapped on Monday, the local prosecutor said.
Jacqueline Veyrach, 76, president of the Grand Hotel in Cannes, was seized from her car in the middle of the day near her home in Nice, said prosecutor Jean-Michel Pretre.
Her attackers forced her from her black 4x4 into another car, while several passers-by looked on, a source close to the case said.
"A woman of that age, kidnapped in those conditions - we are all very concerned," the prosecutor said.
A police enquiry has been opened to apprehend the "organised gang" members and secure the victim's safe return.
It's not the first time Veyrach has been the target of a kidnapping gang. In 2013 there was an attempt to abduct her in front of her garage.