Renault says it will be a “matter of weeks” before it announces the successor to former chief operating officer (COO) Patrick Pelata.

Pelata offered his head in the recent fall-out from Renault’s so-called spy affair in which three sacked executives were completely exonerated of any wrongdoing.

“It is a matter of weeks to announce Pelata’s replacement,” a Renault spokeswoman told just-auto from Paris. “I guess in the next couple of weeks, but definitely not at the shareholders meeting next week.”

Media speculation has centred on whether or not Renault could reveal the new COO at the 29 April shareholders meeting, but the spokeswoman insisted this would not be the case.

The gathering is certain to place intense scrutiny on Renault’s handling of the spy affair in which it had raised accusations of industrial espionage, claims that were vehemently denied.

Reports in France suggest combined compensation of up to EUR11m (US$15.7m) for the three, although Renault declined to be drawn on any reparation figure.

“I heard a lot of figures,” said the spokeswoman, “but this is something we really don’t publish officially from Renault.

“Compensation has been set and has been decided – it was one of the talking points of the board two weeks ago.”