Is Luca de Meo heading for Renault?

Is Luca de Meo heading for Renault?

Luca de Meo, who recently left his position as VW Group brand Seat's president and chief executive, is reportedly in discussions over becoming Renault's new permanent CEO.

Reuters has reported that de Meo has been in talks with Renault, but also that taking the Renault role is complicated by a non-compete clause in de Meo's contract with Seat. Reuters also reported that Renault chairman Jean-Dominique Senard has said that a new CEO for Renault will be named shortly.

"We are very, very sad that Luca is leaving us because he played a very important role in the group," Volkswagen CEO Herbert Diess reportedly told CNBC. "He did a great job with us but we accepted that he's going to leave and he's probably in talks with Renault, that's what he told us," Diess added.

De Meo, an Italian, made his name launching the 500 for Fiat and later as sales and marketing chief of Audi, In his career he has also had spells with Renault and Toyota and is widely credited with turning Seat around and building higher sales for the brand on the back of successful models and astute marketing. In 2018 Seat reached over half a million sales for the first time and made an after-tax profit of EUR294m. In 2019, the company's deliveries grew by 10.9% to a total of 574,100 vehicles, a third consecutive year with double-digit growth.

After the loss of Carlos Ghosn, Renault faces a number of strategic questions - not least in clarifying its future relationship with Alliance partner Nissan. Renault is currently being led by finance chief Clotilde Delbos on an interim basis.

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