Renault has offered Luca de Meo, CEO of Volkswagen Group’s Seat brand, the job of CEO, Spanish newspaper La Vanguardia reported on Saturday, citing anonymous sources.
De Meo, 52, will initially become CEO of Renault for two years before taking over responsibility for the automaker’s alliance with Nissan and Mitsubishi, the paper said.
Earlier French media reports said Renault’s board chose de Meo as its preferred candidate at its meeting on Tuesday. De Meo won out over Patrick Koller, CEO of the supplier Faurecia, according to Agence France-Presse (AFP) and Les Echos. A stumbling block to de Meo’s appointment could be a non-compete clause he has with VW Group, Les Echos said.
Renault and Seat declined to comment on the report.
If confirmed, De Meo’s appointment would help end a prolonged period of turbulence at Renault, which has been struggling to recover from the high-profile arrest of former leader Carlos Ghosn a year ago. Ghosn, who helped forge the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi alliance, was arrested in Japan last November on financial misconduct charges that he denies.
Financial chief Clotilde Delbos took over as interim CEO at Renault after former CEO Thierry Bollore was ousted in October in a purge of executives associated with the Ghosn era, a move intended to help patch up the strained alliance with Nissan.
Italian-born De Meo has served as the chairman of Seat’s executive committee for four years, overseeing a resurgence in the Barcelona-based company’s sales and boosting its prominence in VW Group.