A senior management change inside PSA/Peugeot-Citroen SA has highlights some of the obstacles facing the tradition-bound company. Jean Wolff resigned suddenly as executive vice president in charge of engineering and purchasing. Wolff will be replaced by Jean-Louis Silvant, who was head of manufacturing. Silvant also becomes head of the platform division that had been headed by Roland Vardanega.
Company insiders say the moves indicate problems in the restructuring launched by chief executive Jean-Martin Folz in 1998. Relations between divisions have not been smooth, sources say. Silvant's appointment as the combined head of engineering, purchasing and platforms is meant to put all Peugeot engineering operations in one hand.
The changes underscore a major dilemma for Folz - how to find and promote a new generation of top managers within Peugeot. Unlike Renault, Peugeot has only rarely lured senior executives from other companies. Folz, who arrived in 1997 as CEO-designate, is the only recent newcomer ro Peugeot's top management.