Renault has unveiled Carlos Tavares as its new chief operating officer following the resignation of Patrick Pelata as a result of the the automaker’s so-called spy affair.

Tavares took responsibility for Nissan Americas in 2009 and has previously been Nissan’s head of product strategy and product planning. In 2005, he was appointed an executive vice president at Nissan, joining the board of directors.

“The appointment of Carlos Tavares is a first step in strengthening Renault’s management,” said CEO Carlos Ghosn. “Carlos Tavares knows the automotive industry in all its dimensions: design, engineering, production, marketing, sales and international deployment.

“His talent and experience will be key strengths for Renault and for all its employees as we go into the first year of our Renault 2016 – Drive the Change programme. For my part, I am fully committed to the development of Renault and the management of the Alliance.”

Renault added that “permanent improvement” in competitiveness and the development of its sites in France would be a priority.

Tavares will gradually assume his responsibilities from today (30 May) and will be fully in his role by 1 July 2011.