French carmaker Renault has offered the chairman of Volkswagen's Seat brand, Luca de Meo, the job of chief executive, according to Spanish newspaper, La Vanguardia, who cited anonymous sources, Reuters reported on Saturday December 14th.
According to the Barcelona-based daily, De Meo would initially become CEO of Renault for two years, before taking over responsibility for the group's alliance with Japan’s Nissan and Mitsubishi.
De Meo had already been cited by Reuters as a possible candidate for the top job at Renault, as well as interim Chief Executive, Clotilde Delbos and Patrick Koller, the Franco-German CEO’s of car parts maker Faurecia, who were both also tipped for the role.
The appointment of Italian-born De Meo, 52, if confirmed, would help to end a lengthy period of turbulence for the French carmaker, following the high-profile arrest of its former CEO, Carlos Ghosn, a year ago.
Ghosn, who helped create the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi alliance, was arrested in Japan in November 2018 on financial misconduct charges which he denies.
Former CFO Delbos took over the reins at Renault after former CEO Thierry Bollore was removed in October, as part of the dismissal of executives associated with Ghosn. The strategy was intended to rebuild the strained alliance with Nissan, following the allegations.
De Meo, an alumnus of Milan’s Bocconi business school, has served as chairman of Seat's executive committee for four years, overseeing an increase in the Barcelona-based company's sales, and boosting its profile within the Volkswagen group.
Renault and Seat both declined to comment on the newspaper report, according to Reuters.