Renault's new No. 2, Carlos Tavares, is seen as a potential successor to CEO Carlos Ghosn.
Tavares, Nissan's top executive for the Americas regions, was named as Renault's chief operating officer on Monday. Renault said Tavares, 52, would start the new role immediately and will fully assume his new duties by July 1.
Tavares replaces Patrick Pelata, who stepped down in April over his role in a botched industrial espionage investigation.
"Tavares has good knowledge of both Renault and Nissan and should help Renault capitalize on the alliance," London-based Credit Suisse analyst David Arnold said on Tuesday. Tavares could "one day be seen as a potential successor for Carlos Ghosn," he added.
Tavares, a Portuguese national who speaks fluent French and English, spent 23 years working at Renault in engineering and program management roles before moving to Nissan in 2004.
Ghosn under pressure
In connection with the Tavares appointment, Ghosn, 57, has agreed under French government pressure to devote more time to Renault, two people with knowledge of the matter told Bloomberg News. Ghosn, who also runs Nissan, had daily operational oversight to Pelata in 2008.
France is Renault's biggest shareholder with a 15 percent stake. It has said it wants Renault to take a clearer lead in the alliance with Nissan. Renault has a 43.4 percent stake in Nissan.
Ghosn will be "more present in France" and personally oversee development of future upscale models and likely plant investments in China, he said in a Le Parisien interview on Tuesday.
As Ghosn increases his involvement at Renault, the No. 2 position will be slightly reduced from the operational command Pelata held, Bloomberg reported, adding that details of Tavares's responsibilities will be decided in the coming weeks.