Renault’s second in command, Patrick Pelata resigned, on Monday, bowing to pressure from the French government to take responsibility for a botched espionage probe, San Francisco Chronicle informs. Pelata will stay on temporarily as chief operating officer before moving to a role within the carmaker’s alliance with Nissan Motor, the Boulogne-Billancourt, France-based company said. Four other executives directly involved in the flawed internal probe will also leave.
The resignations follow calls from the French government, the carmaker’s biggest shareholder, for Renault to take further action for the wrongful firing of three senior executives. Finance Minister Christine Lagarde said those responsible for the affair “must depart.” Pelata had offered to resign last month and Ghosn refused to accept it. “It might appease the French government, but Renault shareholders seem to be losing more than they gain at this point,” said David Arnold, an analyst at Credit Suisse in London. “We struggle to see the benefits to Renault from the decision to remove Pelata.