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by Matt Brogan

PSA/Peugeot-Citroen has announced this morning that its CEO, Christian Streiff, has been removed from his position.

Mr Streiff will be replaced by Philippe Varin, currently CEO at Corus, an Anglo-Dutch steel group. Mr Varin’s appointment takes effect on June 1st, with Roland Vardanega, a member of the managing board, holding the position in the interim.

Mr Streiff, a former high-flying executive at aircraft manufacturer Airbus, became PSA’s CEO in February 2007. He was tasked with improving PSA’s profit margin after years of weak results, but following hospitalisation over a health incident last May, doubts have remained over his effectiveness as a CEO.

“Given the extraordinary difficulties currently faced by the automotive industry, the supervisory board decided unanimously that a change in the senior leadership position was necessary,” said supervisory board chairman Thierry Peugeot. “I am convinced that under Philippe Varin’s leadership, the PSA group will be able to reveal all its potential.”

PSA, Europe’s second largest car maker by sales behind Germany’s Volkswagen, said that Mr Varin would start getting to know his teams from April 15.

The news follows months of difficulties for PSA which announced a 343 million euro loss for 2008 and has forecast further losses this year.

France’s government has offered three billion euros in loans to support both PSA and Renault and billions more to the companies many suppliers.




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