Renault taps Nissan executive as new COO

By the Associated Press | May 30, 2011 | 4:12 PM EDT

PARIS (AP) — French automaker Renault says it has named a top executive of Nissan Americas as its chief operating officer — an effort to get past an embarrassing scandal over false accusations of espionage.

The partially state-owned French car maker said Carlos Tavares, head of operations at the U.S. division of Renault partner Nissan, will take up the post starting Monday.

In a statement, Carlos Ghosn — the CEO of both Renault and Nissan — called the appointment of Tavares "a first step in strengthening Renault's management."

Renault in April announced a wide-scale corporate shakeout that included the ouster of Patrick Pelata from the COO post following a scandal over false accusations against three executives for espionage.