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December 17, 2018

French tip Michelin CEO to chair Renault – reports

The French government reportedly is considering backing Michelin chief executive Jean-Dominique Senard for the chairmanship of Renault, replacing embattled CEO Carlos Ghosn, Le Figaro reported at the weekend, citing several sources.

By Olly Wehring

The French government reportedly is considering backing Michelin chief executive Jean-Dominique Senard for the chairmanship of Renault, replacing embattled CEO Carlos Ghosn, Le Figaro reported at the weekend, citing several sources.

The government is the carmaker's biggest shareholder, with a 15% stake and two board seats, Reuters noted in its report of the paper's claim.

"He ticks all the boxes. He is available, he is an industry person, an expert in the sector, he is highly regarded by the government, and he has an international stature," Le Figaro quoted one of the sources as saying of Senard.

A Renault spokesman declined to comment to Reuters while Michelin officials were not immediately available.

Reuters reported on 14 December the French government was seeking candidates to replace Ghosn.

Last week, Renault's board met under the chairmanship of Philippe Lagayette, lead independent director, and heard the preliminary conclusions of a review of Ghosn's Renault compensation in the period 2015-2018 (the period of alleged financial misconduct at Nissan). The review concluded that his compensation was 'in compliance with applicable law'.

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Although the review looked at Ghosn's Renault compensation, not Nissan compensation, the preliminary finding suggested he was not involved in endemic misconduct activity across the alliance companies and that misconduct charges against Ghosn were likely to remain a Nissan-only affair. Renault's findings also meant, at the time Ghosn remained in post as Renault CEO and chairman. 

Nissan ousted Ghosn as chairman on 22 November.

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