Renault Tweaks Executive Team

Renault announced changes to its executive committee on Wednesday before the head of Japanese carmaker Nissan, Carlos Ghosn, becomes chief executive of both companies in 2005.

Renault Tweaks Executive Team

Renault announced changes to its executive committee on Wednesday before the head of Japanese carmaker Nissan, Carlos Ghosn, becomes chief executive of both companies in 2005.

The changes include the departure of the company's executive vice presidents of sales and marketing and of industry and technology and new additions to the executive committee, Renault said in a statement.

"It seemed useful to us to make these changes even before the arrival of Carlos Ghosn so that he would have a 'running start', and in this way there would be no uncertainty in the team," Renault Chairman Louis Schweitzer told French newspaper Le Figaro in an interview published on Wednesday.

Renault said Francois Hinfray, 50, executive vice president of sales and marketing and a member of the group's executive committee, had decided to make a career change and would leave the company on Dec. 31.

Pierre-Alain De Smedt, 60, executive vice president of industry and technology and also a member of the group executive committee, had also decided to retire and would leave on the same date, the company said.

Renault said it appointed Patrick Blain, 52, as executive vice president of sales and marketing and said he would join the group executive committee.

Jean-Louis Ricaud, 52, appointed executive vice president of quality and engineering, and Michel Gornet, 58, named executive vice president of manufacturing, will also join the group executive committee, Renault said.

Renault also said Georges Douin, 59, executive vice president of product and strategic planning and international operations, would retire on his 60th birthday so would leave the company in July 2005. He has been on the executive committee since 1992.

Patrick Faure, 58, executive vice president of corporate communications, wants to devote himself to his job as president of the Renault Formula One team and will leave his executive vice president role as well as his position on the group executive committee, Renault said.

The appointment decisions were made with Ghosn, Schweitzer said in the statement.

"I have decided with Carlos Ghosn to assign greater responsibility to those senior executives who have given proof of their competences at Renault," he said.

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