This early, Carlos Tavares (the newly appointed chief operating officer of Renault) is being perceived as a potential successor to CEO Carlos Ghosn. Just last Monday, Renault named Tavares to be its No. 2 head. Tavares is Nissan's top executive for the Americas regions.
Tavares, who is 52 years old, will officially begin his new duties on July 1 but is expected to immediately start working in this new role. Tavares is the replacement to Patrick Pelata, who resigned last April for his involvement in a failed industrial spy probe.
Last Tuesday, London-based Credit Suisse analyst David Arnold said that Tavares, with his knowledge of Renault and Nissan, will “help Renault capitalize on the alliance."
He added that one day, Tavares may be seen as a “potential successor for Carlos Ghosn.” Tavares worked for Renault for 23 years before transferring to Nissan in 2004.
While in Renault, Tavares held several engineering and program management roles. Sources say that the French government, which is Renault's biggest shareholder with a 15% stake, has been pressuring the company to focus more time on Renault.
Tavares’ appointment is seen as a part of that concession. Renault has a 43.4% stake in Nissan. In a Le Parisien interview, Ghosn said that he will be "more present in France" and he asserted that he will “personally oversee” how upscale models in the future will be developed and how the anticipated investments for plants in China will be planned.