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Peugeot Names de Chatillon CFO After Sales Head Gales Leaves

PSA Peugeot Citroen, Europe’s second-largest carmaker, named Jean-Baptiste de Chatillon chief financial officer as part of a management shift spurred by the departure of sales chief Jean-Marc Gales.

De Chatillon, currently the group’s financial controller, takes over from Frederic Saint-Geours, who is replacing Gales as head of sales, the Paris-based company said today in a statement. The moves will reduce Peugeot’s management board to four, with Gales’s seat not being filled by the new CFO.

Peugeot’s shares have fallen 57 percent over the past 12 months, making it the worst performer on the 14-member Euro Stoxx autos and parts index. Its market share through the first 11 months of 2011 fell to 12.5 percent from 13.4 percent a year earlier, according to the European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association. The French carmaker is considering cutting as many as 6,800 jobs, including temporary staff employed by partners.

“We will continue to hear about personnel changes at Peugeot every few months simply because they will try everything to turn things around,” said Juergen Pieper, a Frankfurt-based analyst with Bankhaus Metzler, who recommends selling Peugeot shares. “This year won’t be a good year for them because their key markets -- those in southern Europe -- remain weak.”

Peugeot fell as much as 2.1 percent to 12.90 euros and was down 1.3 percent at 10:28 a.m. in Paris, valuing the company at 3 billion euros ($3.9 billion).

Gales Joins Trade Group

Gales is leaving Peugeot to join the European Association of Automotive Suppliers as chief executive officer from April 2, the trade group, which is known as Clepa, said today. He had joined Peugeot in March 2009 from Daimler AG, where he was vice president of sales for Mercedes-Benz Cars.

Saint-Geours, who will remain head of the manufacturer’s banking unit, “will put his financial rigor and experience of commercial activities to the service of the two key pillars of our strategy: product upgrading and globalization,” Peugeot CEO Philippe Varin said in the statement.

The new sales chief, who joined the carmaker in 1986, has served as CEO of the Peugeot brand as well as the Banque PSA Finance unit. De Chatillon takes on the CFO position today.

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