PARIS -- French President Emmanuel Macron has turned down a request to meet Renault chairman Jean-Dominique Senard, who is furious over the government's interference at the automaker, sources told Reuters, raising questions over Senard's future.
News of the rebuff came as shareholders at the automaker's annual meeting on Wednesday endorsed Senard's January appointment to replace Carlos Ghosn, the ousted leader of the Renault-Nissan alliance.
Senard, whose bid to merge with Fiat Chrysler Automobiles over Nissan's reservations was blocked by French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire, unsuccessfully sought a meeting with Macron to secure his backing, four government and company sources said.
Seven months after Ghosn's arrest on financial misconduct charges, which he denies, the alliance he forged is on life support. Nissan refused to study a full Renault tie-up proposed by Senard, and wants to weaken the influence of Renault, which owns 43.4 percent of Nissan.
Instead, Senard then tabled an FCA-Renault deal proposal developed without Nissan's knowledge. But FCA Chairman John Elkann withdrew the offer after France, Renault's biggest shareholder, blocked the June 5 board vote and demanded more time to secure Nissan's endorsement.
Days later, in a third risky move that caused outrage in Japan, Senard vowed to block governance reforms introduced by Nissan after the Ghosn scandal unless Renault gets more seats on the Japanese firm's powerful new board committees.