PSA streamlines top management after two executives step down
PARIS -- PSA/Peugeot Citroen has streamlined its management board after brands director Frederic Saint Geours and r&d chief Guillaume Faury left their posts.
Saint Geours, 62, will stay on with PSA as an advisor to CEO Philippe Varin, but Faury is leaving the automaker to become CEO of the Eurocopter division of defense group EADS.
Faury, 45, will be replaced as r&d chief by Gilles Le Borgne, 50, who oversaw the design of the new EMP2 mid-sized vehicle architecture underpinning a range of new models starting with the new Peugeot 308 and Citroen C4 Picasso.
Peugeot brand boss Maxime Picat and Citroen brand head Frederic Banzet will now report directly to Varin and will also take responsibility directly for sales of their brands. Previously they reported to Saint Geours.
The aim of this move is to give the brand bosses more autonomy as PSA repositions the two marques, French press reports said.
PSA said Saint Geours and Faury will not be replaced on the board, reducing its number to four from six. The company has set up a leaner management board around Varin to ensure the efficient implementation of the group's turnaround strategy, PSA said in a statement on Tuesday.
The remaining board members are Varin; finance chief Jean-Baptiste de Chatillon, whom French press reports said will now be Varin's No. 2; Asia boss Gregoire Olivier; and programs head Jean-Christophe Quemard.
As part of the reshuffle, Varin also assigned his management board colleagues with meeting strategic targets.
De Chatillon will be responsible for returning Latin American operations to profit.
Olivier will push for profitable growth in Russia and expand production operations outside Europe and Latin America.
Quemard will target lowering production costs and oversee the development of the GM cooperation.
Faury joined PSA in 2009, moving from Eurocopter where he was research and development chief. He will return to Eurocopter as CEO on May 1.
Saint-Geours joined PSA in 1986 and has served as chief financial officer and head of the Peugeot brand. He became PSA's brands boss in January 2012 after Jean -Marc Gales left the post to become head of CLEPA, the European suppliers association.
PSA is betting its turnaround on a sharper differentiation between the Peugeot and Citroen brands, including an expansion of Citroen's upscale DS line. The French manufacturer is also seeking cost savings from a development and purchasing alliance with General Motors Co.
Varin's contract will be extended "without a doubt" when the board takes up his reappointment in May, Co-Vice Chairman Jean-Philippe Peugeot said last month. The Peugeot family, which controls the manufacturer, backs Varin's recovery plan and understands that it may take some time to complete, he said.
PSA reported a loss before interest, taxes and one-time gains or costs of 576 million euros in 2012, even though targets for spending cuts and proceeds from asset sales exceeded the company's expectations.
The company has suffered more than other carmakers from a decline in European auto demand because it lacks major operations outside the region. PSA will work toward delivering 50 percent of its vehicles outside Europe by 2015, Varin said last month.
PSA last month pledged to cut its cash-consumption rate by 50 percent in 2013 and reach break-even by 2014 after burning through 3 billion euros last year. It also plans to reduce its French automotive work force 17 percent in the next two years.
Reuters and Bloomberg contributed to this report