The final nail, hammered.
Respected & vaunted auto executive Carlos Ghosn has voluntarily resigned from his positions as chairman & CEO of Groupe Renault, after Japanese courts rejected his appeal for bail, leaving the French carmaker without a captain for far too long. Pressure was applied from all sides, particularly the French government (a major shareholder in Groupe Renault), to remove Ghosn.
The chairmanship will be taken up by Jean-Dominique Senard, who was previously of Michelin. Senard has quite the task ahead of him as not only does Renault need to push headlong into a new generation of vehicular mobility, but he also has the big ask of smoothening out tensions within the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance, after the latter two companies dropped Ghosn like a hot potato following the accusations of financial misappropriation (while Renault remained steadfast behind their leader, saying they found no evidence of impropriety in their books).
*From left: Jean-Dominique Senard & Thierry Bolloré, the new chariman & CEO respectively at Groupe Renault
The position of CEO however falls to Thierry Bolloré, marking the first time the positions of chairman & CEO have been divided since Ghosn took the helm decades ago. As CEO, Bolloré will serve as the primary point of contact for Alliance partners, regarding the organisation, structure, evolution & proposals within the body.
Nissan CEO Hiroto Saikawa issued a statement on the matter, wishing the new management team well:
“We welcome these management changes at Renault. Over the past 20 years, each company has respected the other’s identity and autonomy, and by combining our strengths, we have created synergies and achieved profitable growth. These mutually-beneficial activities will not change in any way. In fact, we believe they need to accelerate. We are very pleased to be able to open a new chapter in our historic partnership.” – Hiroto Saikawa, Chief Executive Officer, Nissan Motor Company
A new governance structure is a top priority for Senard to formulate & enact, reflecting the new separation between CEO & Chairman positions. Further, Senard will also have to ensure that through this post-Ghosn phase, the company remains motivated & relentless in its drive to evolve with the times.