Renault Chief Executive Thierry Bolloré Ousted In A Corporate ‘Coup’

The chief executive of the French car manufacturer Renault Thierry Bolloré, has been unceremoniously dismissed by the company with immediate effect.

The company has also appointed the current finance director, Clotilde Delbos, of the company an interim chief executive.

Earlier this week, the Japanese car maker Nissan, Renault’s industrial partner, appointed a new chief executive.

The move of the company against him was described as Bolloré as a “strong-arm coup”.

According to reports, this alleged corporate coup was brutal and ruthless. According to a statement made by Bolloré to a French newspaper, he was only made aware of his fate at the company after he had stepped out an airplane at the Paris airport in the early hours of Wednesday.

According to reports, this corporate coup was orchestrated by Renault chairman, Jean-Dominique Senard and it is likely that the French government, which is the largest shareholder in the company with 15 per cent stake, also backed the move.

Following the major scandal involving the former boss of Renault who was arrested in Japan last November on charges of financial misconduct in Nissan, where he was the chairman, the French car maker had appointed Bolloré as a the company chief in January this year.

The two companies Renault and Nissan, along with another Japanese auto giant Mitsubishi, have a close alliance which is the largest in terms of production capacity, in the world. Ghosn was the defacto head of this three company alliance and was instrumental in forging the alliance years ago. Ghosn is still in custody even though he has denied all the charges of financial wrongdoing brought against him. He claimed that a plot of conspiracy against him was orchestrated by Nissan executives so that a merger between Nissan and Renault is prevented.

The outcome of the scandal surrounding Ghosn has had an effect on the alliance and the relations between the companies. There was also intense infighting within the Nissan boardroom.

Following the strained relationship between Nissan and Renault after Ghosn’s arrest, there has been a steep drop in sale and profits of both the companies and there have been further financial scandals in Nissan.

After the appointment of a new chief executive, Makoto Ushida, by Nissan earlier this week to bring an end to the scandals and enhance business, there has been a smoothening of Nissan’s relation with Renault.

Reports have also suggested that sudden and hostile ouster of Bolloré could have been partly because of an effort to smoothen the relations between Renault and Nissan because Bolloré was considered to be a close associate of Carlos Ghosn. However, reports also suggested that the primary factor for the ouster of Bolloré was the poor performance of the company.

(Adapted from BBC.com)

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