Renault promotes COO to deputy CEO while Ghosn keeps his post

Mr Thierry Bollore, who was declared Renault deputy CEO, has held senior posts in Asia.
Mr Thierry Bollore, who was declared Renault deputy CEO, has held senior posts in Asia.PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

PARIS • The man chosen to temporarily replace fallen auto star Carlos Ghosn at Renault is an industry insider with many years of experience working in Asia.

Mr Thierry Bollore, a 55-year-old father of five, has been declared deputy chief executive officer to ensure day-to-day management following Mr Ghosn's stunning arrest in Tokyo on charges of under-reporting his pay at Nissan. Mr Ghosn will remain its chief executive, said Renault on Tuesday.

Before his temporary elevation to the top of Renault, Mr Bollore was the French car giant's chief operating officer, a position he was promoted to in February in a move widely seen at the time as Mr Ghosn anointing his successor.

In many ways the two men began with similar career trajectories. Like Mr Ghosn, Mr Bollore was first spotted as a rising talent at Michelin before he switched to a carmaker and made his way into the top ranks.

But those who have worked with him paint a somewhat softer portrait than Mr Ghosn, who built a reputation - and enemies - as a maverick turnaround specialist who blew a gale through a musty corporate world, especially in Asia.

"(He's) very rigorous, very serious, but at the same time warm. He has calm, analytical qualities and he's level-headed," a senior person in the auto sector who worked with Mr Bollore told Agence France-Presse.

HEIR APPARENT

(He's) very rigorous, very serious, but at the same time warm. He has calm, analytical qualities and he's level-headed. I think that his knowledge of Asia and his skills in relationships with the Japanese will give him an advantage in the succession.

A SENIOR AUTO INDUSTRY EXECUTIVE, on Mr Thierry Bollore's qualities.

"I think that his knowledge of Asia and his skills in relationships with the Japanese will give him an advantage in the succession," added the former colleague, who said he appreciated Mr Bollore's "integrity and loyalty".

Mr Bollore has plenty of Asia experience to draw on.

With Michelin he held senior posts in the late 1990s in Japan and Thailand. He later joined auto parts giant Faurecia, spending much time in China in the early 2000s, before moving to Europe and South Africa.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 22, 2018, with the headline 'Renault promotes COO to deputy CEO while Ghosn keeps his post'. Print Edition | Subscribe