Patrick Pelata, who stepped down from his post as Renault SA’s chief operating officer in 2011 following a botched espionage investigation, said he’s leaving the carmaker because he wasn’t given enough responsibilities.
“I’m leaving because, after one year, there’s no job for me in sight,” Pelata said in an e-mail to Bloomberg today. “I’ve done strategic studies over the last 12 months but can’t participate in their operational implementation. I therefore concluded that I had to go on elsewhere.”
Pelata plans to join a technology company in California, according to a person familiar with the matter, who declined to be identified because the new position hasn’t been announced.
The auto executive, whose last day is Aug. 16, is currently working at the carmaker’s alliance with Nissan Motor Co. Pelata was appointed as Chief Executive Officer Carlos Ghosn’s second-in-command in October 2008 and resigned in April 2011 after Renault mishandled a spy investigation that led to the wrongful dismissal of three senior managers and sparked a national outcry in France.
Pelata has been a close associate of Ghosn, who also heads Nissan, for more than a decade. The 56-year-old executive, who ran day-to-day affairs at France’s second-largest carmaker, graduated from the country’s elite Ecole Polytechnique in 1974 in the same class as Ghosn. He joined Renault as head of bodywork assembly at the carmaker’s plant in Flins, west of Paris.
In 1999, when Ghosn was sent by then CEO Louis Schweitzer to rescue Nissan from near-bankruptcy, he took Pelata with him and the two have worked closely together since then.
The shares rose as much 1.32 euros, or 3.9 percent, to 34.82 euros and were up 3.5 percent as of 3:36 p.m. in Paris trading. The stock of the Boulogne-Billancourt, France-based company has jumped 29 percent this year, valuing Renault at 10.2 billion euros.