By on August 30, 2013

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The departure of Carlos Tavares is barely 24 hours old, but we’re already getting reports of the genesis of Tavares’ exit, which was only partially brought about by his public courting of North American OEMs.

A report by Bloomberg claims that Tavares also sought expanded responsibilities from CEO Carlos Ghosn as part of his role as COO

Tavares wanted to expand his responsibilities beyond purely operational decision-making to include oversight of areas such as human resources and legal matters, one of the people said. 

Ghosn, who is also the CEO of alliance partner Nissan Motor Co., turned him down and offered to let him stay as COO, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the talks were private. Tavares, who would have still reported to Ghosn under his proposal for a broader role, decided instead to seek a top post elsewhere, they said.

Tavares, who assumed the role two years ago, negotiated a crucial deal with French unions that saw domestic assembly plants preserved in exchange for a nearly 20 percent reduction in the workforce. Tavares also achieved similar labor cost reductions at Nissan’s North American unit.

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11 Comments on “The Truth About Tavares Slowly Slips Out...”


  • avatar
    EquipmentJunkie

    I was wondering what this was all about and now it’s clear…Carlos Tavares wanted to be King.

  • avatar

    That’s a problem with ambitious executives – they have ambitions.

  • avatar
    Lorenzo

    Well, he’s been working for Renault for 30 years, since he was 25, and he seems to have some chops as an executive and negotiator. Then they bring in a flashy outsider and Tavares is blocked from moving to the top of the French automaker by the outsider, who probably bumped a Japanese “lifer” from the top job at Nissan too. Tavares is doing some heavy lifting, negotiating concessions from French unions, but who’s getting the credit? Ghosn, whose own job at Renault was less than secure before the French union deal. You could make a case that Tavares wanted a little more public exposure for what he did for the company, but Ghosn wanted to keep him behind the curtain.

  • avatar
    OneidaSteve

    Someone who needs more access to Euro markets will snap him up for sure.

  • avatar
    romanjetfighter

    I’m intrigued by his look. I am not sure how he pulls off the semi-rimless and rimless glasses look so well. Is it his eyes? His nose? The bugger should be a model for Tag Heuer or something.

    • 0 avatar
      WaftableTorque

      It’s his round head. There is nothing more complementary for his (and my) head shape than wide, rectangular eyeglasses to balance his proportions. The rimless design isn’t necessary, but it keeps the eyes from being the sole focal point of the face.

  • avatar
    Conslaw

    At least Tavares will always have his royalties from the Saturday Night Fever soundtrack.

  • avatar
    bomberpete

    Good one, Conslaw!

    Tavares sounds very talented but now his options seem limited. Japan is out. VW is out. BMW is out. Maybe one of the Koreans?

    GM culturally couldn’t put a European in charge.

    Ford probably would, but not in the present climate. Mullaly groomed Mullet Boy Fields for the CEO job. Judging by all the product launch and QC troubles of late, I’d say Fields isn’t up to the task but it will happen anyway. Sales and the stock are doing well. Unless the bottom falls out quickly, I don’t see that kind of shakeup happening.

    I would imagine that Daimler is pretty fed up with Dr. Z and how he’s ceded M-B market share and diluted the product into a commodity. If that $30K fwd sedan isn’t a huge hit, that’s a possibility.

    Finally, I hope to hell the latest Italian govt. makes Sergio Marchionne spread out management tasks better. While I’m sure he’s an even worse egoist than Carlos Ghosn, at least Sergio’s on thinner ice. The never-ending Fiat disaster might put his head under the chopper. Wouldn’t a guy like Tavares come in handy then?

  • avatar
    Philippe

    What I’ve read in the French press is that Tavares was not really involved in the discussions with the unions. He was also said to have been infuriated with the decision not to involve Renault in the joint Mercedes-Infiniti program.
    In the end, life under Carlos Ghosn means you quickly have to understand who’s running the show !


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