The board of Russian carmaker AvtoVAZ has “nominated” Bo Andersson as a possible candidate to replace outgoing chief executive Igor Komarov. Andersson was chief of General Motors Co.'s global purchasing, logistics and supply operations, becoming CEO of bus and truck maker GAZ Group in 2009. In a statement, AvtoVAZ said that board members including chairman Carlos Ghosn – who is CEO of Renault and Nissan -- would recommend Andersson as a potential CEO candidate at the next board meeting.
Renault-Nissan is planning to take control of AvtoVAZ in mid-2014. The Wall Street Journal, citing undisclosed sources, dubbed the board's decision a "nomination" that is "virtually certain to be ratified at the company's next board meeting in early November." Andersson told the Journal via a spokesman that it was "premature" to talk ahead of the board meeting. Andersson has been credited with turning GAZ around by implementing cost-cuts that boosted profits.
AvtoVAZ disclosed that Oleg Lobanov, vice-president for finance, will serve as acting CEO until the board names a new top honcho. According to sources close to AvtovVAZ, Komarov was exiting the carmaker to join a division of Russia's space agency.
AvtoVAZ, which builds Lada cars, disclosed earlier this month that it posted a net loss in the first half of 2013, no thanks to a slowdown in Russia’s economy that hit vehicle demand. Sales of Lada cars in Russia dropped 14 percent to 343,368 in the first nine months of 2013, according to the Moscow-based Association of European Businesses lobby group. Lada’s market share fell from 18.2 percent to 16.8 percent.