Carlos Ghosn gestures while speaking during Bloomberg’s Sooner Than You Think technology conference in Paris, France.(Photographer: Marlene Awaad/Bloomberg)

Ghosn May Step Down As Renault CEO Before Term Ends, FT Says

(Bloomberg) -- Carlos Ghosn is likely to step down as the chief executive officer of Renault SA before his term ends in 2022, the Financial Times reported, citing an interview with the executive.

The globetrotting auto executive doesn’t expect to spend four more years at the helm of the French carmaker he has led since 2005, the FT said on its website, adding it will publish the interview this weekend. The 64-year-old will remain the company’s chairman as well as the boss of the alliance comprising Renault, Nissan Motor Co. and Mitsubishi Motors Corp.

The shares fell 0.3 percent to 83.39 euros at 9:15 a.m. in Paris, giving a market value of 25 billion euros ($29 billion). A spokesman for the company could not be reached for immediate comment.

Ghosn is spearheading efforts to combine Nissan and Renault to strengthen their lopsided two-decade-old alliance as the industry shifts to meet new challenges in an era of self-driving and electric vehicles. Last year, Ghosn handed over the day-to-day running of Nissan to Hiroto Saikawa.

It’s not the first time the manager, once nicknamed “Le Cost Killer,” has hinted he may reduce the number of hats he’s wearing. In 2012, Ghosn told McKinsey he didn’t intend to keep working as much as he was into his 60s. At the start of the year, he already alluded to stepping down as Renault’s CEO. Continuing to manage the three companies is not “sustainable,” he told French lawmakers at a January hearing on industrial policy.

In February, the board of Renault “renewed its confidence” in Ghosn as chairman and CEO of the company. The recommendation is to be submitted to a shareholders meeting on Friday. This year, the company appointed Thierry Bollore, 54, as Renault’s chief operating officer, putting him in line for the CEO post.

Ghosn is set to face opposition on his 2017 payout from the French government, which is expected to vote against his remuneration of 7.4 million euros ($8.7 million) at the annual meeting Friday, Reuters reported, citing unnamed company and official sources.

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