Renault boss resigns after spy hoax

  • Botched espionage investigation
  • resulted in wrongful dismissal of three executives
  • Claims that Chinese were buying EV secrets
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One of Renaults most senior bosses has resigned after a botched espionage investigation resulted in the wrongful sacking of three senior bosses.

Renaults chief operating officer, Patrick Pelata, will stay on at Renault until a reorganisation of the car makers executive committee is completed. He will then be shuffled to another role within the companys alliance with Nissan.

Along with Pelata, four other senior staff will also lose their jobs: general secretary Laurence Dors, human resources manager Jean-Yves Coudriou, legal director Christian Husson, and director of security Remi Pagnie.

Victim of hoax
Renault admitted in March that it had been the victim of a hoax, which led to the dismissal of development chief Michel Balthazard and two other executives. The employees were fired after an internal investigation wrongly found they had received cash from Chinese manufacturers in return for confidential electric vehicle research.

Renault security manager Dominique Gevrey was paid around 265,000 to pay an anonymous source for the information. Gevrey was later arrested and charged with fraud after the espionage claims fell apart.

The French manufacturer has since apologised to the three sacked executives, and offered to reinstate them or pay compensation.

Renault and Nissan alliance heads EV research
The Renault and Nissan alliance has ambitions to be the leader in production and development of electric. Renault is due to launch the Fluence and Kangoo electric vehicles this year, with the Zoe and two-seat Twizy due to follow in 2012.