Renault Zeros in on a New CEO

Renault aims to hire away a senior Volkswagen group executive to become its CEO, according to media reports.
#people #Renault #Nissan

Renault aims to hire away a senior Volkswagen group executive to become its CEO, according to media reports.

Luca de Meo (right) currently heads VW’s Spain-based SEAT budget brand. Reports point out he’ll have to find a way to dance around a non-compete clause in its current contract to make the move to Renault.

Executive Mayhem

It’s been a lousy year for top executives at the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi alliance. Renault has been shopping for a new chief since it fired Thierry Bollore, who held the job on an interim and then “permanent” basis for all of 11 months.

Bollore’s days as CEO were numbered from the start. He had the misfortune of being a close ally of Carlos Ghosn, who was removed as chairman of Renault and both of its alliance partners, after his arrest for financial misconduct at Nissan 13 months ago.

Besides, Bollore didn’t get along well with Nissan CEO Hiroto Saikawa, another Ghosn legacy. Saikawa lost his job in September for allowing Nissan’s financial strength to evaporate, and for becoming entangled in some of Ghosn’s alleged transgressions.

Calmer Waters?

Now Renault is eager for stability and tranquility. It’s very eager to revitalize its alliance with Nissan. But it also wants to avoid delivering what Nissan really wants: better balance in the partnership’s equity arrangement and a greater say in alliance decisions.

Renault owns a 43% voting stake in Nissan. For now, Nissan remains stuck with a 15% nonvoting position in Renault. The Japanese company also is tired of being pushed around by a very assertive French government.

Let’s Get to the Math Later

The state also owns 15% of Renault’s shares. But France also enjoys double voting rights, thanks to some shadowy stock moves in 2015 that involved then-economy minister and now President Emmanuel Macron. France hasn’t been shy about exercising its passion for protecting jobs.

Nissan and Renault have publicly agreed to stand down on rearranging the financial terms of their partnership. They declare their top priority is getting the alliance back on track.

That will be de Meo’s first objective. If he can do that, reports say, he will serve as Renault CEO for two years then take over as head of the alliance itself.

Related Topics


  • 8 Rules for Getting Things Done Through People

    Effective management is a timeless skill—as demonstrated by this treasure of an article from the AutoBeat Group archive. Although the tools of the trade have changed and proliferated, the basics remain the same. Here are 8 old school (and just darn practical) rules for being an excellent manager. 

  • Insight: The Toyota Product Development System’s Implementation Challenges

    For conducting business in the U.S. market, Toyota has historically had several separate business entities: a sales and distribution company headquartered in California (Toyota Motor Sales, USA); manufacturing operations (Toyota Motor Manufacturing North America); a racing subsidiary (Toyota Racing Development, USA); the Toyota Technical Center for R&D in Ann Arbor; and a design facility in California (Calty Design Research, Inc.). On April 1, 2006, Toyota merged its R&D operations and its manufacturing operations into a single company.

  • GM Faces Lawsuit Over Faulty 8-Speed Transmission

    A class-action lawsuit has been filed against General Motors Co. over claimed flaws in the company’s 8-speed automatic transmission used in 2015-2019 model rear-drive vehicles.