January 28, 2020 / 11:52 AM / 5 months ago

Factbox: Return to Paris - De Meo set to take the wheel at Renault

LONDON (Reuters) - Renault’s (RENA.PA) board is expected to meet later on Tuesday to approve the nomination of Luca de Meo, the former head of Volkswagen’s (VOWG_p.DE) Seat brand, as its next chief executive.

FILE PHOTO: SEAT President and CEO Luca de Meo attends the 89th Geneva International Motor Show in Geneva, Switzerland, March 5, 2019. REUTERS/Pierre Albouy/File Photo

The likely appointment comes as the French carmaker seeks to mend a rift with partner Nissan (7201.T) and settle management turmoil after the arrest of former alliance boss Carlos Ghosn.

For Italian De Meo, it marks a return to the company where he started his career in the industry more than 25 years ago. He replaces Clotilde Delbos, who took over as interim CEO after Thierry Bollore was ousted in October.

Here are some key facts about De Meo’s career. * He has more than 25 years of experience in the auto industry, starting at Renault and holding various positions at Toyota, Fiat, Lancia, Audi and Seat.

* He was CEO of Seat, VW’s Spanish value brand, for five years until he stepped down this month.

* His most recent achievement was repositioning Seat, imbuing it with a more sporty image and creating the Cupra sub-brand aimed at youthful buyers.

* Under his watch, Seat also expanded production beyond Spain. The Seat Tarraco SUV is now built in VW’s main plant in Wolfsburg, Germany, while the Seat Ateca is built in Skoda’s Kvasiny plant in the Czech Republic.

* De Meo was a board member at Audi between 2012 and 2015, responsible for sales and marketing. Audi is at the center of an emissions cheating scandal at VW after engineers developed software to disguise excessive pollution in diesel cars.

* Between 2002 and 2009, he was at Fiat Group (FCHA.MI) (FCAU.N), where he headed the Alfa Romeo, Lancia, Fiat and Abarth brands.

* At Toyota Europe (7203.T), he was general manager of product planning for the Toyota Yaris in 1997.

* Italian national De Meo also speaks French, having started his career at Renault in product marketing in 1992.

* He was born in Milan in 1967 and studied business administration at the city’s Bocconi University.

Reporting by Edward Taylor in Frankfurt and Gilles Guillaume in Paris; Editing by Josephine Mason and David Goodman

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