Renault names ex-Seat chief as CEO

Luca de Meo will be the first foreigner to lead Renault in its more than 120-year history.

30 January 2020 | Motors

French auto giant Renault has named former Volkswagen director Luca de Meo its chief executive as it seeks to regain its footing after a year of turmoil sparked by the arrest of Carlos Ghosn.

The 52-year-old Italian credited with turning around Spanish carmaker Seat will take up his new post on July 1, Renault said in a statement after a board meeting confirmed the appointment. Chief financial officer Clotilde Delbos, who has been standing in as CEO since October, will take over as deputy director-general on the same date.

The board of Renault believes that De Meo, “through his career, his experience and his success in his previous functions, combines all the qualities to contribute to all aspects of Groupe Renault's development and transformation,” the company said.

It will be a homecoming of sorts for De Meo, who began his career at Renault in the 1990s before taking up posts at Toyota, Fiat and eventually VW in 2009, where he was put in charge of marketing at Audi.

He was later named head of VW's Spanish brand Seat, which last year posted its highest annual sales, a stunning revival of the brand's fortunes in just a few years.

De Meo replaces Thierry Bollore, a former close Ghosn associate ousted in October by Renault's president Jean-Dominique Senard, who said a “fresh start” was needed to restore trust with Japanese partner Nissan.

He will be the first foreigner to lead Renault in its more than 120-year history. The Lebanon-born Ghosn obtained French citizenship before taking control of the group in 2005. – Nampa/AFP

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