Report: Renault Favoring Tavares to Replace COO

Looking to replace former chief operating officer Patrick Pelata, Renault is said to be favoring Carlos Tavares for CEO Carlos Ghosn’s second in command according to a report in the Wall Street Journal Tuesday. True guy car at heart and part-time racer, Tavares is currently head of Nissan Motor Co.’s Americas unit in charge of North, Central and South American operations. The French automaker is revamping its management structure after Pelata’s April resignation.

Tavares already met with French government officials according to the Wall Street Journal, which is consistent with reports from the French Web site, Les Echos that French Industry Minister Eric Besson and Economic Affairs and Finance Minister Christine Lagarde met with Tavares earlier this month. With the French government owning a 15 percent stake of Renault it is the largest shareholder and as expected extremely interested in Renault-Nissan’s endeavors.

Pelata resigned his position as COO in April after taking responsibility for false accusations in January of three Renault managers for alleged industrial espionage. The three managers were accused of selling secrets about Renault-Nissan’s electric cars. The three were fired but Renault later admitted that the claims were unfounded.

Tavares worked at Renault in engineering and program management for 23 years before moving to Nissan as a program director in 2004. Currently he is the executive vice president Nissan and a board member. He also oversees Nissan operations in North, Central and South America as chairman of Nissan Management Committee-Americas.

Source: Wall Street Journal, (subscriptions required)

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