Russian carmarker Avtovaz is losing its chief executive.
Word that Bo Inge Andersson will step down came from Renault-Nissan, which has a majority stake in the holding company that controls Avtovaz.
This comes weeks after the firm – best know for its Lada marque – reported a record loss after its bottom line was hammered by a prolonged decline in Russian car sales as the country’s economy tanked.
Under Andersson, Avtovaz has cut its workforce by almost 20,000 since 2014, reduced other fixed costs and made headway in cleaning up its once corrupt and inefficient supplier network.
The layoffs were criticised by Russian state-owned conglomerate Rostec, which owns a third of Avtovaz. Rostec CEO Sergei Chemezov said workers were being “kicked out on the street”.
Andersson, a 60-year-old Swedish former army major and purchasing manager with General Motors, had a contract until the end of 2016. He was the first foreign head of the Russian carmaker.
Avtovaz reported a net loss of 73.85 billion roubles (942 million euros) for 2015, almost triple the loss it recorded in 2014, and issued a plea for cash to shareholders including Renault.
Speaking before the opening of the Geneva motor show, Renault-Nissan boss Ghosn seemed to indicate that Andersson’s departure was not a reflection of the financial performance of Avtovaz.
“It’s a tough job and nobody wants to do it for ever,” he said. “There’s a certain point in time when your mission is finished and someone has to take (over).”