Renault's re-appointed Ghosn pledges 'irreversible' alliance with Nissan

Renault's chairman and chief executive Carlos Ghosn has agreed to another four-year term at the helm of the French automaker. AFP  ERIC PIERMONT

Renault's chairman and chief executive Carlos Ghosn has agreed to another four-year term at the helm of the French automaker. AFP ERIC PIERMONT

This proposal will reportedly be presented to Renault's shareholders at the next annual meeting in June.

Renault named Thierry Bollore to be second-in-command to Ghosn, freeing the busy executive to focus on strengthening the alliance.

French vehicle giant Renault revealed it had notched up record revenues and profits today, a day after handing its chief executive Carlos Ghosn another four years in the top job.

Finally, based on the recommendation of the Appointments and Governance Committee, assisted by an independent global firm hired to review internal and external candidates, Mr. Carlos Ghosn, with the support of the Board of Directors, has appointed Mr. Thierry Bolloré as Chief Operating Officer, effective February 19, 2018. Last year it criticised the company over the size of the pay packet awarded to Carlos Ghosn and pressed for a cut in exchange for approving an extension of Mr Ghosn's new four-year contract, which was signed off on Thursday night.

Renault has bought a stake in a glossy magazine publishing group, its first foray into media, as it prepares to keep travellers occupied in the era of driverless cars.

On the backdrop of this proposed voting, Mr Ghosn has announced a cut of 330% in his salary. Shareholders led by the French state voted against his compensation in 2016 but narrowly approved it a year ago.

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Ghosn had earlier been expected to hand over the reins to a new CEO and move to a non-executive chairman role overseeing the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi alliance.

Renault sold almost 3.76 million cars last year, a rise of 8.5 percent on the year. Ghosn, 63, has headed Renault since 2005.

The new structure could give the French government political cover to reduce its stake, ultimately making a full merger of Renault and Nissan "a very real possibility", Evercore ISI analyst Arndt Ellinghorst said in a note this week.

France's backing for Ghosn is a turnabout from three years ago, when the two were at loggerheads over the state's level of involvement in the company.

Ghosn said he did not think Nissan's Japanese management would agree to French government demands for a closer alliance with Nissan.

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