Avtovaz has named Yves Caracatzanis as new CEO

Avtovaz has named Yves Caracatzanis as new CEO

Avtovaz has named Yves Caracatzanis as new CEO, replacing Nicolas Maure from 1 June this year.

Caracatzanis is currently managing director for Groupe Renault in Romania, where he is in charge of all commercial and industrial activities. He is also president and CEO of Automobile Dacia, the largest private company in Romania.

 Before taking over operations in Romania, Yves Caracatzanis was industrial vice president for the Eurasia Region and VP Supply Chain Groupe Renault. He joined the French automaker in 1992.

"Avtovaz continues its recovery plan and has improved its sales and financial results significantly in 2017," said Avtovaz chairman, Serguei Skvortsov.

"I extend my sincere thanks to Nicolas Maure for his contribution to Avtovaz performance. Despite some ongoing risks, the company is on track for financial recovery.

"With Yves Caracatzanis, we plan to continue the development of Lada sales in Russia and abroad, the optimisation of costs internally and in cooperation with suppliers and the reviewal of the Lada vehicle line-up so as to implement the Avtovaz mid-term plan."

For his part, Maure added: "Avtovaz plays a strategical role in the Groupe Renault Drive the Future plan.

"With Yves Caracatzanis, we will continue along the agreed development strategy and succeed in the short-term challenges. We are optimistic about the long-term future of the Russian market and Avtovaz as the leading domestic automaker."

Nicolas Maure's sudden departure from the CEO position is somewhat unexpected; the elevation of Yves Caracatzanis to the position of CEO represents a rapid rise. The loss-making company posted improved financial results in 2017 as it benefited from new model introductions and a recovering Russian car market.

Caracatzanis' move from Romania where he is currently managing director for Renault will see the second CEO of Avtovaz in recent times after former incumbent, Bo Anderson's departure.

Anderson – a controversial figure in some circles - aimed to shore up the struggling Avtovaz but the ensuing severe job cuts which followed did not go down well in this most Russian of companies.

Some thought Avtovaz might prefer a native Russian to take over, but Caracatzanis' appointment clearly shows the automaker has faith in overseas management and associated modernisation within the Renault-Nissan Alliance.

The appointment also comes as Russia itself faces a period of great uncertainty as its unwavering support of Syria, sees it implacably set against the policies of a West which continues to impose tough economic sanctions for its annexation of Crimea.

Avtovaz declined to add to its earlier statement confirming Caracatzanis' promotion to the Togliatti operation, but more may become clear at the forthcoming SPIEF 18 Economic Forum, which just-auto will be attending in St Petersburg.