Blog: Dave LeggettValeo politics

Dave Leggett | 24 March 2009

The departure of Thierry Morin from his position as Valeo CEO is going to be unsettling for its employees. In these turbulent times, they would have been looking for their proven talisman to steer a course that provided some stability and the promise of being well positioned for better times in the long run.

Boardroom disputes and disagreements at Valeo have obviously come to a head. Morin's exit looks like a victory for private equity firm Pardus, which owns 19.75% of Valeo and with whom Morin did not see eye to eye.

What does Pardus want to happen at Valeo? Flog some assets for cash? Get closer to Visteon, in which it is also a major shareholder? Whatever Pardus wants to do, it may well find the going easier without Thierry Morin on the board as CEO.

I recall interviewing Morin a few years ago in Paris and he was impressive; passionate about Valeo and he possessed a vision and a strategy for the company - and he had turned it around. He was originally a 'bean counter' (a finance professional who had come to Valeo from outside the auto industry) but one with a bit of fire in the old belly as well as a good business brain.

If people at Valeo have concluded that the firm will now be better off without him, let's hope they have arrived at that conclusion after a careful examination of the situation rather than, say, a short-termist dash for cash that has its motivations elsewhere. 

Interview with Thierry Morin


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