a reshuffle to prepare the succession of Jean-Dominique Senard?

a reshuffle to prepare the succession of Jean-Dominique Senard?

Reshuffle at Renault. The French automotive group has announced the appointment of Fabrice Cambolive to the position of chief commercial officer (COO) of the Renault brand… In other words, he becomes number two in the hierarchy of a company, behind the general manager and implements the operational strategy. In this case, the scope of Fabrice Cambolive, so far in charge of sales, gives him the chairmanship of the Renault brand Management Committee. For his part, Luca de Meo keeps the post of general manager, but will take the height for strategic questions at the level of the Renault group which also includes Dacia and Alpine, but also at the level of the Renault-Nissan Alliance.

New Volkswagen-style organization

In reality, this reshuffle says a lot about the evolution of Renault but also about that to come.

As a reminder, until 2020, the brands were all under the control of the same centralized management. On arriving at the head of the group in July 2020, one of Luca de Meo’s first decisions was to reorganize the company by brand, each with independent management, like Volkswagen where he himself had even headed the Seat brand. So, he named Denis Le Vot, managing director of Dacia, and Cyril Abiteboul at the head of Alpine, before replacing the latter by Laurent Rossi a few months later. Renault, however, remained headed by Luca de Meo who, in fact, combined the positions of general manager of the group and of the eponymous brand, while Jean-Dominique Senard was president of the group and was in charge of business with the Nissan allies. and Mitsubishi.

“Luca de Meo needed to be in direct contact with the brand when he joined the group, to immerse himself in the house culture…”, a company executive told La Tribune. “But the days are only 24 hours long, and the files to be processed are more and more numerous, it was necessary for him to be able to rely on someone reliable to lead the strategic plan on the ground”, continues this source. , specifying: Fabrice Cambolive ticks all the boxes: he has a good experience in the house, a strong legitimacy, has understood the logic of the Renaulution plan…”.

Head full of construction sites

For Luca de Meo, this is a sign that his organization is mature enough to let go and embark on new projects. Especially since the boss has his head full of it: internationalization, plan to split thermal and electrical activities, the outlines of which are being assessed, or even the question of rebalancing the Alliance with Nissan through a possible sale. partial participation of 44% in the capital of the Japanese. In any case, the question of the Alliance will remain a work in progress since, in the opinion of many analysts, the deposits of industrial synergies are still far from being fully exploited.

Sales of Nissan shares, splitting of Renault… Luca de Meo lifts all taboos

Is the succession of Jean-Dominique Senard open?

It is impossible not to put these projects and this reorganization into perspective with the end of Jean-Dominique’s mandate in 2023. Then aged 70, he can legally be renewed even if he will soon reach the age limit (72 years old) . The articles of association do not prevent a term of office from being taken when this encroaches on the age limit, and does not foresee nor to interrupt it at this deadline. The question of a new mandate which will bring him to the helm until the age of 74 remains open and therefore that of his succession as well.

This has internal implications of course, but also tactics since it will be necessary to spare the Japanese from Nissan. Finally, it will have to win the support of the French government, which remains Renault’s largest shareholder (15% of the capital), and still retains a right of scrutiny in its strategic decisions.