Renault appointed Michelin boss Jean-Dominique Senard as its new chairman on Thursday, after former chairman Carlos Ghosn was forced to resign following financial scandal that has deeply affected the French automaker and its alliance with Japan’s Nissan.
Senard will become chairman immediately, the company stated, with deputy chief executive Thierry Bollore taking over Ghosn’s other Renault role as a CEO.
The appointments may start easing a Renault-Nissan leadership crisis that emerged after Ghosn’s November 19 arrest in Japan and quick dismissal as Nissan chairman.
Senard, 65, now faces the task of soothing relations with Nissan and restarting talks on a new alliance structure to cement the 20-year-old partnership.
“It’s important that this alliance remain extremely strong,” Senard informed reporters after a board meeting – mentioning the mounting investment demands of new auto technologies. “It is our compulsory duty to go forward together.”
Nissan welcomed the leadership change, which CEO Hiroto Saikawa stated would start a “new chapter” for the partnership.
After 14 years as Renault CEO and a decade as chairman, Ghosn officially resigned from both roles on the eve of the board meeting.
Ghosn’s arrest and indictment for financial misconduct has strained the relationship of the two automakers, threatening the future of the industrial partnership he transformed into a global automaking giant over two decades.