Luca de Meo has stepped down with immediate effect as he is reportedly being lined up to head the French automaker.
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Overnight, Seat announced its boss, Luca de Meo, was leaving his post at "his own request and in common agreement with the Volkswagen Group".

Interestingly, he will remain with the Volkswagen Group "until further notice". Carsten Isensee, Seat's finance chief, will temporarily take charge of the Spanish car maker.

Reports in the European press before the Christmas break suggested de Meo was the leading candidate to become the next CEO of Renault.

Thierry Bollore was removed as Renault's CEO in October last year as he was seen as too close to Carlos Ghosn, the former head of both Renault and Nissan. Ghosn was facing trial in Japan over allegations of financial misconduct, and spectacularly fled to Lebanon last week.

The two companies are said to be keen on mending their relationship and planning for the future of the Renault Nissan Mitsubishi Alliance.

Above: De Meo with the Cupra Tavascan concept.

De Meo has been leading Seat since 2015, a period in which the company launched Cupra as a standalone performance brand, and increased sales by expanding its range of crossovers.

He joined Volkswagen in 2009 to become the brand's chief marketing officer. In 2012 he stepped into a similar role at sister marque Audi.

In the mid-2000s, de Meo was the CEO of Fiat, and prior to this he was in charge of product planning for the Toyota Yaris and Lexus lines in Europe.

If de Meo does end up being Renault's CEO, he will be rejoining the company where he started his automotive career back in 1992.