China operations leader could be next in line for PSA’s top job image

Gregoire Olivier is counted as the front-runner to succeed Philippe Varin as CEO of PSA/Peugeot-Citroen, but the change will not happen too soon.

Leader of the successful PSA operations in China, Olivier has been a member of the PSA board since 2007 and along with the rest of the management board members his contract was renewed in April for four years.

Philippe Varin was brought as CEO from Corus Group after the 2009 sacking of former Airbus head Christian Streiff, who took the position in 2007. Varin’s position appears to be strong after better-than-expected first-half financial results that have the company heading toward his goal of breaking even by 2015. That doesn’t mean, however, that PSA is not looking toward the future. But, he also has the public backing of the Peugeot family – except he turned 61 last month. In four years he’ll be 65. Olivier will be 57. Since Olivier already overseas PSA’s operations in China and Russia, maybe he won’t have to wait the full four years to be CEO.