Michelin chief executive Jean-Dominique Senard could be in line to replace Carlos Ghosn as boss of French car company Renault, following comments made on Sunday by French finance minister Bruno Le Maire.
Ghosn, who headed up the three-way alliance between Renault, Nissan and Mitsubishi, is being held in Japan on numerous charges of alleged misconduct at Nissan. He was refused bail by a Japanese court last week when he appeared to deny the charges.
Responding to a question about whether tyre company boss Senard would replace Ghosn at Renault, Le Maire told French newspaper Journal du Dimanche: “It is up to the board of directors to examine proposals presented to it by the appointments committee.”
“The French state, as shareholder, will have its say. What I can tell you, is that Jean-Dominique Senard has a renowned competence with regards to the automobile industry,” he added.
“At Michelin, he showed his capacity to succeed at the head of a large, industrial company, and he has an idea of the social responsibilities of a company to which I am strongly attached,” said Le Maire.
Senard has led Michelin since 2012.
The French state holds a 15 per cent stake in Renault and had stood by Ghosn as details of the allegations emerged in recent weeks.
However, Le Maire indicated this week that it was time for the company to consider new leadership as Ghosn looks set to remain in custody for an extended period as he awaits trial.
The French government has requested a board meeting to consider candidates to replace Ghosn, Reuters reported earlier this week.