STEPHANE DE SAKUTINGetty Images
The CEO of Renault was removed by a majority vote of the board today.Thierry Bolloré (left in above photo) had been acting CEO since last November, after Renault and Nissan chief Carlos Ghosn (right) was arrested for financial improprieties.The ouster, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal, is an “effort to sweep away executives who were close allies of Ghosn.”Another day, another executive connected with Carlos Ghosn fired. That’s how it went for Renault CEO Thierry Bolloré, who as of this morning is jobless. All but three board members of France’s largest automaker voted to remove Bolloré, whom they voted in as acting CEO within two days of Ghosn’s arrest in November. When it became clear he wouldn’t be released from jail, Ghosn resigned as CEO on January 24 and Bolloré officially became CEO. Until the board has another change of heart, Clotilde Delbos, formerly the company’s chief financial officer, will be CEO.
Renault made no remarks about Bolloré, but many observers believe it’s another move to distance the company from Ghosn, who remains under allegations for misusing company funds and understating his income at Nissan. Bolloré, according to sources speaking to the Wall Street Journal, was supposedly “foot dragging” the company’s efforts to investigate Ghosn. Under the alliance, Renault owns 43 percent of Nissan and Nissan 15 percent of Renault. Nissan CEO Hiroto Saikawa resigned in September following a report that he and other Nissan executives received excessive, falsified valuations of stock options. In that same month, Christina Murray, an American lawyer hired by Nissan to investigate Ghosn, resigned from her internal audit position.Bolloré, according to the WSJ, told a French newspaper following his departure that “the brutality and the totally unexpected character of what is happening are stupefying.” Bolloré, a former executive at Michelin and French supplier Faurecia, joined Renault in 2012. He oversaw the company’s manufacturing and supply chains and rose to become chief operating officer in early 2018.The Ghosn case is ongoing, and a trial has yet to be set.