Renault COO is eyeing CEO post at GM or Ford

Article by Eugene Conan, on August 16, 2013

Carlos Tavares, Renault SA’s chief operating officer, admitted that he is unlikely to succeed Carlos Ghosn as the next chief executive of the French carmaker. "We have a big leader and he is here to stay," Tavares told Bloomberg. Renault's COO remarked “anyone who is passionate about the auto industry” will conclude that there is a point where one has “the energy and appetite” for a top post.

So, Tavares wants to become the top honcho at General Motors Co. or Ford Motor Co., which CEOs Dan Akerson and Alan Mulally are expected to retire soon. However, Tavares is not the only auto executive aiming to lead one of the Detroit 3. With the US auto industry healthy once again, executives who helped Ford, GM and Chrysler overcome financial collapse and the US economic downturn are bound to have the better curriculum vitae, making them more likely to gain the top post at one of the Detroit 3.

Richard Kolpasky, a managing director at recruiter Boyden Global Executive Search, remarked to Bloomberg that top of the auto industry is filled with "extremely bright, extremely ambitious people" who have the desire to be No. 1., but noted that there is “only one CEO chair when the music stops. In October 2012, Ford named Mark Fields as its new COO, making him a frontrunner to the race to succeed Mullaly as the carmaker’s new CEO.

Ford also announced by then that Mulally will stay at least through 2014. Ray Day, a spokesman for Ford, remarked that the carmaker “takes succession planning very seriously,” noting the company has succession plans in place for each of its key leadership positions. Day said that Ford prefer to develop talent internally, adding that the carmaker “a strong list of internal candidates” for each of its senior leadership positions. [source: automotive news - sub. required]

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