The head of Russia's biggest carmaker, Avtovaz, is to step down later this year. CEO Bo Andersson of Sweden oversaw some cost-cutting reforms, but couldn't prevent the firm from slipping into huge net losses.
Avtovaz said Monday its Swedish chief, Bo Andersson, was to step down after major losses amid a full-blown recession in the nation's auto industry.
Andersson had come out of early retirement in 2013 to become the first non-Russian to lead Avtovaz. The General Motors veteran cut the carmaker's workforce and other fixed costs and made headway in cleaning up a supplier network once rife with corruption and inefficiency.
Despite the reform drive, Avtovaz suffered net losses amounting to $928 million (847 million euros) last year, nearly triple the 2014 bottom-line figure.
The company, which is majority-owned by Renault-Nissan, still employs 44,000 people, with its owners now engaged in hammering out the details of a bailout for the beleaguered maker of the Lada brand.
'A tough job'
Despite foreign involvement and a history of problems, Avtovaz has long been regarded by the Kremlin as a symbol of Russian corporate pride.
Bo Andersson looked likely to be replaced before his contract expiry date in December.
Renault-Nissan chief Carlos Ghosn said the Swede's replacement should not be seen as a reflection of the Avtovaz' financial performance.
"It's a tough job and nobody wants to do it forever," he said. "There's a certain point in time when your mission is finished and someone has to take over."
hg/uhe (AFP, Reuters)