PSA/Peugeot-Citroen said that Chief Financial Officer Frederic Saint-Geours will succeed head of brands Jean-Marc Gales, who is leaving the company to become CEO of the European automotive suppliers association, CLEPA.
Saint-Geours' CFO duties will be given to company veteran Jean-Baptiste de Chatillon, who was previously the group's financial controller.
PSA, Europe's second-largest automaker after Volkswagen Group, is struggling.
PSA said last month it expected its auto division to post a second-half operating loss of more than 405 million euros ($528.64 million). Through 11 months of 2011 its European sales were down 8 percent to 1.5 million and its market share had dropped to 12.6 percent from 13.5 percent, according to data from industry association ACEA.
"In this difficult period, I am delighted that Frederic Saint-Geours is taking on the role of executive vice president for brands," PSA CEO Philippe Varin said in a statement. "Bringing the benefit of 25 years of experience with the group, he will put his financial rigor and experience of commercial activities to the service of the two key pillars of our strategy: product upgrading and globalization."
More changes expected
Juergen Pieper, a Frankfurt-based analyst with Bankhaus Metzler, said he expects more personnel changes at PSA as the automaker tries to turn around its business. "This year won't be a good year for them because their key markets -- those in southern Europe -- remain weak," he said.
"We view this management change as an overall positive," Credit Suisse analysts said in a note.
Saint-Geours, who has held positions including Peugeot brand chief in a 25-year PSA career, seemed "more at home when it came to running the operations within PSA rather than communicating to capital markets," they added.
London-based Societe Generale analyst Stephen Reitman said the rebranding side of Gales' remit had been going quite well, but the missed performance goals and PSA's multiple profit warnings reflect a failure to meet sales targets.
Chatillon's most recent role as financial controller could equip him well to deliver the promised savings as CFO, amid deteriorating European demand and pricing.
"Given what's happening in 2012, you need someone who knows where cuts can be made," Reitman said. "With no guarantees of relief on the revenue side, the focus of the performance plan moves to costs."
Saint-Geours, 61, has held a number of key posts since joining PSA from France's Ministry of Finance in 1986. He was senior vice president of the Peugeot brand from 1990 to 1997. In July 1998, he was promoted to CEO of Peugeot and made a member of PSA's top-level managing board.
He was replaced as Peugeot boss by Jean-Philippe Collin in 2007 and became a strategic adviser to then-chairman Christian Streiff as well as a member of the PSA executive committee.
In June 2009, he returned to the managing board was executive vice president, finance and strategic development under current PSA CEO Varin. Saint-Geours is also CEO of Banque PSA Finance, a job he will keep.
Chatillon joined PSA in 1989. He joined Citroen in 2001 as head of European imports before being named managing director of the brand's operations in Belgium and Luxembourg. He held that job until June 2006 when he was appointed PSA's director of warranties. Since May 2007, he has PSA group financial Controller.