PARIS -- Renault SA has appointed Carlos Tavares, Nissan's top executive for the Americas region, as second in command to CEO Carlos Ghosn, media reports said on Monday.
Tavares, 52, will replace Renault Chief Operating Officer Patrick Pelata, who stepped down in April over his role in a botched industrial espionage investigation, a person with direct knowledge of the decision told Bloomberg News.
French media reports said Tavares' appointment will be announced before the end of the week. Renault declined to comment on Pelata's succession.
The French government, Renault's biggest shareholder with a 15 percent stake, has been pressing Renault take a clearer lead in its alliance with Nissan, in which it owns a 43.4 percent stake, Bloomberg said.
As Ghosn increases his involvement at Renault, the No. 2 position will be slightly reduced from the full daily operational oversight that the CEO had ceded to Pelata in 2008, Bloomberg's source said, adding that details of Tavares's responsibilities will be decided in the coming weeks.
Tavares, a Portuguese national, spent 23 years at Renault in engineering and program management roles before moving to Nissan in 2004. Like Ghosn, a French citizen who was born in Brazil to a Lebanese father and French mother, Tavares has an international outlook.
Tavares is comfortable changing between his native Portuguese to flawless French and English, while as chairman of Nissan's America's committee he splits his time between Nashville, Tennessee and Tokyo.
In his down-time, his hobby is racing sportscars and he takes part in events around the world.