A former Renault executive has fled to Peugeot in a sign that the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Global Alliance is crumbling.
Things are not looking good for Renault these days. After the failed merger with FCA last May, tensions flared between Global Alliance partner Nissan as the Japanese carmaker was blamed for not providing their blessing. Since then, joint projects between the two companies have slowed and many of the Global Alliance departments have closed their doors.
Now in an even more troubling sign, a former Renault executive has jumped ship for Peugeot, citing Renault’s CEO forced him out.
The news comes from Reuters, which cites three anonymous sources for saying former alliance director Arnaud Deboeuf was forced to head to Peugeot. According to their sources, Deboeuf was angling for a job at Nissan, but Renault CEO Theirry Bollore blocked the move.
Deboeuf was well-liked at Nissan for his work in the alliance, but after the failed merger with FCA, the relationship between Renault and Nissan soured. In an email obtained by Reuters, Deboeuf accused Bollore of stopping any hope of his transfer to working at Nissan.
"Thierry Bollore told me no one wanted to work with me ... and that I could not go to work at Nissan either," wrote Deboeuf in his farewell email.
Shortly thereafter, Deboeuf announced his departure. He'll now take on a new role at Peugeot as industrial strategy director. Renault has not offered comment at this time.
Reports from last June indicated that Renault blames Nissan as much as the French government for the failed merger and has been vindictively blocking Nissan initiatives in the alliance. Renault voted against proposed reforms that would prevent a future CEO from siphoning company funds, as former Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn has been accused of.
Ghosn is currently awaiting trial in Japan on corruption charges.
Inter-company communications have slowed as alliance departments close down. If the current trend continues, it wouldn’t be surprising to hear an end to the alliance within the next year.