By on October 9, 2019

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.

From Nikkei:

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]

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