PARIS - Patrick Pelata will oversee Renault's product and vehicle programs.
One of Renault and Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn's most-trusted lieutenants, Pelata, 49, headed Nissan's global planning and design and European operations until April.
As expected, Pelata replaces Georges Douin, 59, as one of Renault's executive vice presidents and member of the group's seven-member executive committee. Douin retired July 1.
Unlike Douin, Pelata will not oversee Renault's international operations. This department, which now reports directly to Ghosn, will be coordinated by Luc-Alexandre Menard, a company veteran.
Menard, 60, also was appointed Renault's senior vice president for public affairs, replacing Jean-Marc Lepeu, 63, who also retired July 1
But Renault sources say the new arrangement regarding international operations will be temporary. Renault likely will introduce a management structure similar to alliance partner Nissan's. Nissan divides the world into regions controlled by executive vice presidents.
Pelata will head Renault's strategic planning and product planning departments, the French automaker announced June 28.
He also will oversee the sport technologies division and vehicle program departments that were run by Pierre Alain de Smedt, a former Renault executive vice president who retired at the end of last year at age 60.
Pelata is one of around 30 Renault executives who Ghosn took with him to Tokyo in 1999 to revive Nissan after Renault acquired a controlling stake in the then-ailing Japanese carmaker.
Pelata graduated from France's elite Ecole Polytechnique school of engineers in 1974, the same year as Ghosn.
If Ghosn decides to create the post of chief operating officer at Renault - a post Nissan already has - Pelata is tipped as a front-runner.