PARIS -- Renault Group has hired Gilles Vidal, the former chief designer at the Peugeot brand, the second high-profile designer to join the automaker under new CEO Luca de Meo.
Vidal will start at Renault in November, the automaker said in a news release on Wednesday.
On Monday, Renault announced that former Seat design director Alejandro Mesonero-Romanos will join its design team on Oct. 1. Both Vidal and Mesonero-Romanos will report to Renault Group head of corporate design Laurens van den Acker.
Vidal is Renault Group’s second major hire from PSA this year, following Gilles Le Borgne, who led PSA’s engineering before joining Renault in January.
Under CEO Carlos Tavares, the former No. 2 at Renault, PSA has lured away a number of top Renault executives in the past six years.
In the past, analysts said, the two French companies had a gentlemen’s agreement not to poach top talent from one another, but that détente has broken down in the last decade.
Vidal, 48, graduated from the Art Center College of Design in Switzerland and has spent his entire career with PSA. He joined Citroen in 1996, working in interior and exterior design, then as manager of the C4 and C4 Picasso models. He worked in advanced design and concept vehicles for Citroen before joining Peugeot in 2009, and was named design director at Peugeot in 2010.
In addition to his role at Peugeot, Vidal was responsible for user experience and user interface at PSA Group, and created the Peugeot Design Lab.
Under his tenure, Peugeot moved toward a more dynamic style for recent models such as the 508 midsize fastback sedan and station wagon and the 3008 and 5008 SUVs, which were formerly positioned as minivans.
“Gilles has been an inspiration for many, and I’m looking forward to work with him to meet the challenges of tomorrow's mobility,” van den Acker said in the release.
Vidal will be succeeded at Peugeot by Matthias Hossann, head of concept vehicles for the PSA brand.