PARIS - Valeo's new management structure is designed to reinforce the company's position as an independent global supplier. Valeo has been considered a French company with international business.
Valeo has placed a vice president in North America. Edouard Planchon, who had been in charge of international affairs, was named to the position, based in Detroit.
Planchon, 63, joined Valeo in 1987, after a career as a marketing manager at Chrysler Corp. Planchon has dual US-French citizenship.
'The group's growth in North America requires a high-ranking permanent representative there,' said a company spokesman.
Bernard de Monseignat replaced him as the top international affairs executive in another new position, group senior vice president.
Monseignat, 45, is also responsible for relations with vehicle manufacturers. He joined Valeo in 1995 and was previously head of the climate control and engine cooling divisions.
Thierry Morin, also 45, is the second new group senior vice-president.
He will continue to be responsible for group finance and strategic operations. He has had that job under a lesser title since 1995.
Monseignat and Morin report to Noel Goutard, chairman and CEO. They will not belong to the company's board and will not exercise control over the other vice presidents. The pair will be Goutard's nearest deputies.
Goutard will be 66 in December. Valeo's rules allow the chairman to remain until 70.
Goutard has eight corporate vice-presidents: North America, r&d, human resources, legal affairs, finance, international affairs, quality, and communications.
Ten others are in charge of Valeo's operations: lighting, clutches, electronics, windshield wipers, security, electrical systems, friction materials, engine cooling, climate control and aftermarket.
Those 18 vice presidents report to Goutard.
The new structure is 'a sign that shows Goutard is preparing for the future,' said a Paris-based analyst, 'and it singles out two young executives.'