Renault considering CEO change while Nissan appoints management team

09 October 2019

9 October 2019 Renault could look to oust its current CEO, Thierry Bolloré, to break away from the Carlos Ghosn scandal and rebuild relationships with alliance partner Renault. Bolloré was appointed as acting CEO following the imprisonment of Ghosn last year, taking the role full-time when the Brazilian resigned. However, the Frenchman was a close ally of the former boss and one of his first acts was to express his support, causing tension with Nissan that has been slow to amend. The French carmaker’s chairman Jean-Dominique Senard will ask the board to look for a successor, reports Le Figaro, while another newspaper, Les Echos, suggests that relations between the two leaders are little more than cordial. Some at Renault are questioning why Bolloré, as a protégé of Ghosn, remains at the helm of the automaker while other Ghosn confidants have left or been forced out, Les Echos said, adding that Senard is looking to ′clean out’ Renault, removing any trace of Ghosn’s influence in the company. All change Several top executives at Renault have left the company since Bolloré took office, many of them transferring to French rival PSA Group. Among them were former sales and marketing chief Thierry Koskas and company veteran Arnaud Deboeuf, who blamed Bolloré for forcing his exit, Reuters reported at the time. Bolloré leaving would help to reduce tensions in the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance, especially with the Japanese carmaker appointing a new leadership team to replace outgoing CEO Hiroto Saikawa. Nissan has appointed Makoto Uchida in the role, with Ashwani Gupta coming in as COO. The carmaker is choosing to create a team at the top to avoid any one person dominating decision-making – a process witnessed in Ghosn’s time as chairman of the company. New leadership Uchida is currently in charge of Nissan’s Chinese joint venture with Dongfeng, while Gupta comes across from alliance partner Mitsubishi. Nissan senior vice president Jun Seki has been appointed to the position of vice-chief operating officer. Uchida’s first tasks will be to reverse a slide in profit and oversee the carmaker’s planned overhaul while navigating the continued fallout in the alliance. ′The board concluded that Uchida is the right leader to drive the business forward. Nissan’s Nomination Committee led the nomination process and assessed candidates thoroughly in line with the new three-committee governance structure established in June. We expect Uchida to lead the company as one team, immediately focus on the recovery of the business and revitalise the company,’ said chair of the board of directors, Yasushi Kimura. ′We look forward to Gupta and Seki fully leveraging their expertise and experience to support the new CEO.’ Kimura added.