Ghosn to take on greater role in Renault reshuffle
Carlos Ghosn (left) and Carlos Tavares attend Renault’s annual shareholder meeting in Paris at the end of April. Photograph: Charles Platiau/Reuters
Renault’s chief executive has moved to take more operational control at the French car- maker under a proposed management reshuffle that follows the acrimonious departure of its second-in-command last week.
Carlos Ghosn (59) will create two units to manage products and sales, under a reorganisation that divides and eliminates the role held by Carlos Tavares, who found himself without a job after publicly coveting a role heading other car-makers. The departure of the former chief operating officer, considered Renault’s leader-in-waiting, has highlighted a scarcity of potential future leaders at Renault. Company officials said the reshuffle, which will be presented to union reps next week, provided a timely opportunity to promote a number of young rising stars to executive roles.
The enforced reorganisation at the top of the company comes at an awkward time for Renault, which is struggling with slumping sales in its core European markets and falling profitability in its main growth markets of Brazil and Russia.
The EU passenger car market shrank by 6.6 per cent in the first six half of 2013 from a year earlier, to 6.2 million vehicles.
The reorganisation is seen increasing day-to-day responsibilities at Renault for Mr Ghosn, who also heads Japanese car- maker Nissan and oversees the global alliance between the two companies.
Mr Tavares (55), a protégé of Mr Ghosn, stepped down two weeks after a frank media interview in which he shocked colleagues and dismayed his board of directors by saying he did not want to wait around for the company’s effusive chief executive to retire and that he was looking to run General Motors or Ford Motor instead.
Renault, which also owns no- frills car-maker Dacia, is reviving the Alpine sports-car marque and expanding the Initiale Paris insignia into a luxury brand under a Tavares strategy outlined last year to add premium models. – Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2013