The ranks of top women CEOs in the automotive world witnessed another tentative step above the glass ceiling last October, when Clotilde Delbos was promoted from the position of Renault’s Chief Financial Officer to interim CEO, as both Renault and Nissan cleared the executive suites of managers associated with the Ghosn era. But, will it last?
On October 18, 2019 Renault chairman Jean-Dominique Senard booted former Ghosn confederate Thierry Bollore out of his role as CEO, and planted ms.Delbos in the job to hold the fort, until a short list to permanently replace Bollore could be completed.
Clotilde Delbos applied for the job to be a permanent appointment, but she is up against a trio of highly-favoured replacements for Bollore, including Frenchman Didier Leroy, who is a senior executive at Toyota France, plus two outsiders – Patrick Koller of the Franco-German parts maker Faurecia; and the Italian head of VWAG-owned SEAT, Luca de Meo.
It’s notable that both Koller and de Meo are also fluent French speakers. Luca de Meo in fact speaks 15 languages.
In the past days, Luca de Meo, right (who began his automotive career at Renault in 1992), has firmed as the favourite, after resigning from SEAT on January 8.
The speculation is that Renault will appoint de Meo as CEO for two years, and then appoint him head of the Alliance.
Looks to me like ms. Delbos will be back in her old office with her calculator, spreadsheets and the Renault cheque book before the end of the month.