New French PM Manuel Valls faces the tall challenge of turning around the unpopular government's fortunes in time for Hollande to stand a chance of winning a second five-year term in 2017.
The new premier had his eyes on that date as he got down to business Wednesday, telling TV station TF1 his ambition for France was "that by the end of Francois Hollande's term, the people of France will live better, that they will again have hope".
"There's division, pessimism and gloom in our country," he said. "The country is facing a lot of difficulties. They are undeniable, and we are here to overcome them. But we also have a lot of assets. It's time to restore hope, and that is my task.
With the country battling the economic doldrums, there was also major change at the finance ministry, in charge of sorting out stubbornly high unemployment and budget deficits after 22 months of Socialist rule.
As part of Valls's reshuffle Pierre Moscovici, who as finance and economy minister was unable to pull France out of its rut, was replaced by two contrasting politicians. Former labour minister Michel Sapin, a supporter of budgetary rigour, was appointed to the powerful post of finance minister.