Renault's board wants Luca de Meo, who heads Volkswagen Group's Seat brand, to become the automaker's next CEO, French media reports said.
De Meo won out over Patrick Koller, CEO of the supplier Faurecia, according to Agence France-Presse and Les Echos.
The board chose de Meo as their preferred candidate at its meeting on Tuesday, the reports said.
De Meo, 52, won the support of the French government, Renault's biggest shareholder with a 15 percent stake, AFP said.
However, a stumbling block to de Meo's appointment could be a non-compete clause he has with VW Group, Les Echos said.
De Meo, an Italian executive, emerged as favorite for the Renault CEO post because of his success in making the Spanish brand profitable. He also speaks French and started his career at Renault before working for Toyota and Fiat.
Renault's interim CEO, Clotilde Delbos, the automaker's finance boss, was not considered for the CEO job because she is relatively new to the industry and has only a financial background, reports said.
Renault has been searching for a new CEO since its board ousted Thierry Bollore in mid-October, as the French automaker and its alliance partner, Nissan, cleared out managers closely associated with the Carlos Ghosn era.