Former EADS CEO Louis Gallois could become PSA Peugeot Citroen’s new chairman, according to sources cited by Reuters.
Speculation regarding his appointment surfaced as the French automaker’s board met on March 18 to discuss the details of its €3 billion ($4 billion) tie-up with China’s Dongfeng.
Gallois is seen as the favorite to succeed Thierry Peugeot after winning the support of the Peugeot family. A former head of the SNCF state railway company and defence group EADS, Gallois is currently France’s investment commissioner. He is said to have been favored over rival candidate and former Nexans boss Gerard Hauser.
The Peugeot family initially supported Hauser, a former board member at Faurecia, but agreed to back Gallois after meetings with senior government officials. Gallois has been a Peugeot board member since late 2012, when President Francois Hollande’s Socialist government imposed him on the company in return for a state-backed debt rescue.
Gallois is not Peugeot’s only top-management move, with former Renault Chief Operating Officer Carlos Tavares taking over as PSA Peugeot Citroen’s CEO from Philippe Varin later this month.
Peugeot last month announced a rescue deal in which it will sell shares to China’s Dongfeng Motor Group and the French government, reducing the Peugeot family’s stake to match their equal holdings of about 14 percent. Under the terms of the agreement, Peugeot also has to appoint a new independent chairman. A spokesman for the automaker declined to comment on the report.