Peugeot’s chief exec prepares to step aside for Dongfeng deal

City A.M. Reporter
PSA PEUGEOT Citroen is interviewing candidates to replace chief executive Philippe Varin, after Chinese partner Dongfeng said a deeper alliance under negotiation should be accompanied by management change, sources with knowledge of the matter said.

Varin himself is leading the hunt for a successor who has the calibre and experience to head a global carmaking alliance – qualities that Dongfeng has emphasised when discussing a capital tie-up and expanded industrial cooperation, according to two sources.

“The request regarding the succession came from Philippe Varin with the agreement of the supervisory board. The aim is to ensure the long-term continuation of the strategy Varin is leading,” said a third source close to the matter. The source said an announcement was expected shortly.

After speaking at an industry conference in Berlin on Saturday Varin declined to comment on a report in Le Figaro that the troubled carmaker may hire former Renault chief operating officer Carlos Tavares as his new second-in-command.

“I am sorry, I have a plane to catch,” he told reporters.

The process of recruiting Varin's successor is “not far from a conclusion”, one source close to the situation said, without identifying candidates.