Renault CEO's Removal Could Come Soon
The French media is reporting that Renault CEO Thierry Bolloré could be removed as part of a greater initiative to clean house within the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance. As usual, the cornerstone of the controversy stems from the executive’s close ties to Carlos Ghosn.
That relationship makes him suspect, as numerous high-ranking employees at Nissan are currently under suspicion of having helped or benefited from the alleged financial misdeeds surrounding the ousted chairman. In fact, the Japanese automaker had to select a new CEO in short order after information emerged implicating former corporate head Hiroto Saikawa — encouraging his September resignation.
Now there’s a campaign in place to distance the automaker from Ghosn-era hires and legacy staffers with deep links to him. Everyone expects Renault to do the same.
Bolloré is already known to have a strained relationship with Renault Chairman Jean-Dominique Senard. According to Le Figaro, skepticism about Japan’s treatment of Ghosn got him into hot water. Senard is expected to ask the board to look for a fitting replacement for Bolloré. The French government, which holds a 15 percent stake in Renault, is similarly eager to improve alliance relations and is expected to support the proposal.
The Nikkei Asian Review suggests that France has already endorsed the move, claiming the matter will likely be raised at management board meeting scheduled for October 18th.
Renault is expected to soon start a full-fledged search for a successor. It will look both inside and outside the company, though the search will likely focus on French candidates, given the automaker is one of France’s most important businesses.
Bollore will likely be unable to fight his ousting that is supported by the French government.
Hand-picked by Ghosn as his successor, Bollore was promoted last year to the No. 2 post of chief operating officer. He was appointed CEO in January 2019, after Ghosn’s arrest and ouster over a compensation scandal, but both Renault and Nissan saw him as too close to the disgraced former alliance chief. Bollore also was personally on bad terms with some Nissan executives.
[Image: Jevanto Productions/Shutterstock]
A staunch consumer advocate tracking industry trends and regulation. Before joining TTAC, Matt spent a decade working for marketing and research firms based in NYC. Clients included several of the world’s largest automakers, global tire brands, and aftermarket part suppliers. Dissatisfied with the corporate world and resentful of having to wear suits everyday, he pivoted to writing about cars. Since then, that man has become an ardent supporter of the right-to-repair movement, been interviewed on the auto industry by national radio broadcasts, driven more rental cars than anyone ever should, participated in amateur rallying events, and received the requisite minimum training as sanctioned by the SCCA. Handy with a wrench, Matt grew up surrounded by Detroit auto workers and managed to get a pizza delivery job before he was legally eligible. He later found himself driving box trucks through Manhattan, guaranteeing future sympathy for actual truckers. He continues to conduct research pertaining to the automotive sector as an independent contractor and has since moved back to his native Michigan, closer to where the cars are born. A contrarian, Matt claims to prefer understeer — stating that front and all-wheel drive vehicles cater best to his driving style.
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