Renault boss Carlos Ghosn has confirmed that Carlos Tavares left his post as chief operating officer at Renault as a result of publicly declaring a desire to head up General Motors.
Speaking at the Frankfurt motor show today Ghosn, CEO of Renault and Nissan said: "Without that statement I can say he would be here today."
"Those statements triggered a huge reaction inside and outside the company. So I consulted with him and our partners and after many meetings he and I agreed it was best he leave.
"I say again: without those statements he would be here today."
At the time of his departure, Renault would only say he had left to "to pursue other personal projects".
In an interview with Bloomberg last month Tavares, 55, admitted that he was unlikely to succeed Carlos Ghosn, 59, as CEO of the company, instead saying that he had aspirations to move to head a global US car manufacturer, such as General Motors or Ford.
"My experience would be good for any car company," he said "Why not GM? I would be honoured to lead a company like GM.
"Anyone who is passionate about the auto industry comes to a conclusion that there is a point where you have the energy and appetite for a No.1 position."
Tavares' impact at Renault has been significant since he took over as COO in July 2011. Working with design chief Laurens van den Acker, he has overseen the so far successful launch of the vital new Clio and Renault's continued rollout of electric vehicles.
Tavares, a keen motorsport enthusiast and racer himself, has also been a key player in entering a partnership with Caterham to relaunch Alpine, and has worked with Daimler to evolve an alliance that will spawn the new Twingo next year. He's also spoke of his desire for Renault to return to the luxury segment with the launch of an Initiale Paris sub-brand.
Renault has confirmed that it will announce "an adaptation of the management's organisation" soon. Carlos Ghosn will carry out the duties of COO temporarily while Renault sources a replacement.