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Renault Chairman Senard to head new Alliance board with Nissan, Mitsubishi

Renault SA Chairman Jean-Dominique Senard will chair a new four-member operating board of its Alliance with Nissan Motor Co. Ltd. and Mitsubishi Motors Corp., confirming earlier reports.

Senard, along with Renault CEO Thierry Bolloré, Nissan CEO Hiroto Saikawa and Mitsubishi CEO Osamu Masuko, signed a memorandum of understanding March 12 to form a new Alliance operating board, comprising the four executives.

The announcement allays fears of a growing rift within the Alliance following the arrest of former Alliance chairman Carlos Ghosn. The companies are expected to sign a definitive agreement on the Alliance's anniversary later this month.

In a March 12 statement, Renault said, "The new Alliance operating board will drive the operational cooperation between Nissan, Renault and Mitsubishi Motors and look for new ways to generate value for its respective shareholders and employees."

The Alliance said the new board will be the "sole body overseeing the operations and governance" in the partnership and Renault-Nissan B.V. and Nissan-Mitsubishi BV will no longer hold any oversight over the Alliance or its members.

Renault added that the Alliance board will be consensus-based. The revamped board will meet every month in Paris or Tokyo to discuss and recommend specific projects for Nissan, Renault and Mitsubishi.

Senard and the CEOs of all three companies signed a memorandum of understanding March 12 to mark the formation of the new board.

In the MOU, the companies noted that Senard will be nominated by Nissan to become a director, pending approval at an extraordinary general meeting. The alliance added that Senard is a "natural candidate" for the position of vice chairman and a representative director of Nissan.

The Nikkei Asian Review reported March 9 that the carmakers are about to set a new decision-making panel that would replace the previous setup that "concentrated power" in the hands of former Alliance chairman Ghosn. Renault on March 11 confirmed the discussions but said a final decision was not taken.

Ghosn, who was recently released from a Tokyo jail after more than 100 days in detention, also served as chairman of Nissan, Renault and Mitsubishi prior to his arrest in November 2018 over financial misconduct allegations.