Ghosn to Step Down As Renault CEO Before End of Term

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It appears as if Carlos Ghosn will step down as chief executive of Renault prior to the end of his term. While he’ll likely continue serving as chairman of Renault and CEO and chairman of the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance, he’s planning to lighten his load with the French automaker.

Despite having renewed his contract with Renault, which runs until 2022, the 64-year-old executive previously said he’s wearing too many hats. Ghosn stated at the time that he hoped to scale back his workload before retiring. Apparently, the next step in that process involves ditching his day-to-day duties as a chief executive. 

“You can suspect before 2022 I will stop being CEO of Renault,” Ghosn told the Financial Times.

Last year, the executive also stepped away from his daily duties at Nissan. No longer preoccupied with turning the automaker around, his focus shifted toward building a lasting relationship within the automotive alliance. That remains his primary goal today, and it’s something he can accomplish without being CEO. He may be hoping to solidify the partnership as his final act before leaving his post.

Last September, the alliance unveiled a 2022 mid-term plan that aimed to increase annual synergies to more than 10 billion euros, up from 5 billion in 2016.

Some of Ghosn’s responsibilities have already been passed to Renault’s newly appointed chief operating officer, Thierry Bolloré. He’s also the most likely candidate to replace the CEO when the time comes.

Renault will hold its annual meeting on Friday and vote on Ghosn’s salary, among other things. The last such event resulted in a 20 percent pay reduction and mandatory help in his daily duties. While the brand saw noteworthy growth in 2017, some shareholders have stated his multiple roles means he’s making too much money already.

The French government, which holds a 15 percent stake in Renault with double voting rights, has also said it would propose the CEO’s proposed remuneration package. Whether or not this influenced Ghosn’s decision to abandon his post early is unknown.

[Image: Nissan]

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