PARIS (Reuters) -- Renault COO Patrick Pelata has resigned, a source close to the company told Reuters, following an embarrassing fiasco over industrial espionage at the French carmaker.
It was not immediately clear when Pelata's resignation would take effect. He will remain with the Nissan-Renault alliance in a position that has not yet been determined, a source told Automotive News.
Renault, which is 15 percent owned by the French state, held an extraordinary board meeting today to discuss the findings of an investigation into the scandal.
Asked if Pelata had offered his resignation at the meeting and if it had been accepted, the source said: "Yes, that's the case."
French Finance Minister Christine Lagarde earlier told France Inter radio that the government instructed its two representatives on Renault's board to back the audit's recommendations.
"Rules must be respected. If there were dysfunctions, sanctions must be taken," she said. "It's the board which will do that this afternoon," she said.
"(The audit) clearly points to serious dysfunctions within the company's management," French Industry Minister Eric Besson told LCI television this morning.
Besson separately told journalists the audit was not expected to lead to the resignation of CEO Carlos Ghosn, who is also CEO of Renault's Japanese alliance partner Nissan Motor Co.
Asked about Ghosn's resignation, Besson said: "I don't believe this is what the audit recommends."
Pelata had already tendered his resignation about a month ago, when Renault apologized to three executives it had wrongly fired over the espionage case in January and said it would compensate and offer to reinstate them.
Ghosn refused to accept his No. 2 executive's departure, saying he "didn't want to add one crisis to another".
Instead, he and Pelata pledged to forgo their 2010 bonuses and profits from 2011 stock options.
French newspaper the Journal Du Dimanche on Sunday reported that legal affairs chief Christian Husson, human resources chief Jean-Yves Coudriou and security chief Remi Pagnie might resign at the board meeting, as well as Pelata.
Philip Nussel of Automotive News contributed to this report.