Renault to start search for new CEO: Le Figaro

FILE PHOTO: The logo of French car manufacturer Renault is seen at a dealership of the company in Bordeaux, France, June 12, 2019. REUTERS/Regis Duvignau

PARIS (Reuters) – The chairman of France’s Renault (RENA.PA) is set to kick off a process to replace Chief Executive Thierry Bollore, business daily Le Figaro reported, as the carmaker tries to move on from an era marked by the arrest of former boss Carlos Ghosn.

According to Tuesday’s report, Jean-Dominique Senard, who was brought in to chair Renault earlier this year from tyre maker Michelin (MICP.PA), could bring the succession proposal onto the agenda of the next board meeting on Oct. 18.

Renault declined to comment on the report, which cited unidentified sources, as did a spokesman for the French finance ministry. The state owns a 15% stake in Renault.

The company, like its alliance partner Nissan Motor Co (7201.T), is still reeling from the arrest last year of Ghosn on allegations of financial misconduct, which he denies.

Bollore, long Ghosn’s right hand man, was also promoted alongside Senard to help steady Renault.

But as well as stabilizing the alliance with Nissan, Senard was tasked shaking up governance at the firm, one step he had yet to take.

“It’s sometimes good to change people who have been in a place for a long time,” one source familiar with the French government’s thinking said.

Any change at the top of Renault would follow hot on the heels of a management overhaul at Nissan, and could help to ease tensions between the alliance partners.

The Japanese carmaker on Tuesday named a new chief executive, replacing Hiroto Saikawa, who stepped down after he admitted to being improperly overpaid. Makoto Uchida, until now the head of Nissan’s China business, is known for his close ties to Renault, which has a 43.3% stake in Nissan.

Reporting by Gilles Guillaume, Writing by Maya Nikolaeva and Sarah White; Editing by Dan Grebler and Mark Potter

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