PARIS (Reuters) – Michelin <MICP.PA> Chief Executive Jean-Dominique Senard could be a good choice to head carmaker Renault <RENA.PA>, French finance minister Bruno Le Maire said in a newspaper interview published on Sunday.
Renault looks set to find a replacement for Carlos Ghosn, who is currently being held in custody in Japan on charges of alleged financial misconduct related to his role at Renault’s sister automaker Nissan <7201.T>. Ghosn denies the charges.
Asked whether Senard would replace Ghosn, Le Maire told France’s Journal du Dimanche newspaper: “It is up to the board of directors to examine proposals presented to it by the appointments committee.”
“The French state, as shareholder, will have its say. What I can tell you, is that Jean-Dominique Senard has a renowned competence with regards to the automobile industry,” Le Maire said.
“At Michelin, he showed his capacity to succeed at the head of a large, industrial company, and he has an idea of the social responsibilities of a company to which I am strongly attached,” added Le Maire in the interview.
Le Maire said that any possible changes to the shareholding structure between Renault and Nissan were “not on the table”.
The French state owns 15 percent of Renault, which in turn holds a 43.4 percent stake in Nissan. Nissan has a 15 percent stake in Renault.
(Reporting by Sudip Kar-Gupta; editing by Jason Neely)