Carlos Ghosn confirms chief operating officer Carlos Tavares left Renault after speaking of his desire to join GM
Jim Holder
10 September 2013

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.

Join the debate

Comments
6

30 August 2013

Really, who cares? The only point of interest here is that 'Carlos Tavares has left his position as chief operating officer with immediate effect {but] is set to remain at the firm for the time being'.

29 August 2013

This shows that anyone crossing Ghosn will be quickly thanked. Tavares knew that, Carlos living, he could not get the top job.

So he expressed his desire for leading GM or Ford. The question is: did he do it to be fired or did he do it to resign? Sit back and watch ... 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

10 September 2013

"So he expressed his desire for leading GM or Ford. The question is: did he do it to be fired or did he do it to resign"

This is an excellent question, sir. He's no fool, so he must have known saying such a thing publicly would have made his position at Renault immediately untenable. I cannot believe money could have been his motivation - if they sack him, the payout is obviously larger than if he'd resigned. That cannot have been his motive... can it? Surely the COO of a company like Renault gets paid so highly that the monetary difference between being sacked and resigning isn't worth the risk of reputational damage.

Perhaps his motivation is to get GM or Ford to offer him a job. Bloody odd way of going about it, though - risky, too. A discrete phone call to the chair of GM (or Ford) would have been a far better idea. No, I cannot accept that would have been his strategy.

So why the hell did he do it?

29 August 2013

It states, in the article, that he will leave his position with immediate effect then further down it states that he is likely to remain with the firm for the time being. 

I'm confused?

29 August 2013

The question is: has his resignation anything to do with Renault's electric car push - which has so far been more of a nudge than a push - in terms of sales at least.

10 September 2013

Now that it has been confirmed that Tavares was forced to leave after making those comments about wishing to head-up another, notably bigger, company than Renault, I'd guess that for any such company, he has simply confirmed his unsuitability for such a job by virtue of his lack of judgement.

I can't agree with those here who say that this is just what happens when one crosses the "ruthless" Mr Ghosn, almost any boss worth his salt would have done the same; at least Tavares had the luxury of several discussions about his future, rather than being instantly dismissed. He must be stupid not to have realised the consequences.

When reading the very first article about what he had said and what was due to happen to him, it struck me as a monumentally stupid thing to say for someone who held such a senior position. In my opinion he has been the architect of his own downfall - no-one else can be blamed really.


Enjoying a Fabia VRs - affordable performance

Add your comment

Log in or register to post comments

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week

  • Volvo V90
    First Drive
    19 October 2017
    The Volvo V90 is a big estate ploughing its own furrow. We’re about to see if it is refreshing or misguided
  • Kia Stonic
    First Drive
    18 October 2017
    Handsome entrant into the bulging small crossover market has a strong engine and agile handling, but isn’t as comfortable or complete as rivals
  • Hyundai Kona
    First Drive
    18 October 2017
    Hyundai's funky-looking Kona crossover with a peppy three-cylinder engine makes all the right noises for the car to be a success in a crowded segment
  • Citroën C3 Aircross
    First Drive
    17 October 2017
    The Citroen C3 Aircross has got funky looks and a charming interior, but it's another small SUV, and another dynamic miss. Numb steering is just one thing keeping it from class best
  • Skoda-Karoq 2.0 TDI 4x4
    First Drive
    16 October 2017
    Diesel version of Skoda’s junior SUV is unobtrusive and undemanding, but we’d still go for the silkier petrol version of the Karoq