Renault Samsung Gets First Korean CEO as Provost Heads for China

Donghoon Park, a one-time Volkswagen executive, takes the helm at the Korean automaker.

Vince Courtenay, Correspondent

March 11, 2016

2 Min Read
RSM CEO Francois Provost to move to China
RSM CEO Francois Provost to move to China.

Francois Provost, CEO of Renault Samsung in Korea since 2011, is named Renault’s senior vice president-China operations.

Provost also is appointed president of the Dongfeng Renault Automotive Co. (DRAC) joint venture, pending approval of its board of directors.

Replacing him as RSM's CEO is Donghoon Park, who has served as executive vice president-sales since August 2013. Prior to that Park was CEO of Volkswagen Korea.

Park is RSM’s first Korean CEO since Renault acquired the plant and other assets of the defunct Samsung Motors in 2000. He takes over the post April 1.

Provost joined RSM in September 2011, when the company was reeling from the global economic downturn. Under his watch RSM launched the highly successful SM3, new SM5, SM6 models and some EV variants. It also began mass production of the Nissan Rogue SUV for export to the U.S.

Prior to taking the reins at RSM Provost was CEO of Renault Russia.

Analysts believe Park was lured from VW Korea in 2013 with the promise of replacing Provost. During his tenure, VW Korea tripled its sales, and his departure for RSM took the industry by surprise.

At the time Park told reporters he had taken the VW brand as far as he could in Korea, saying he wanted a position where he could energetically grow a startup company and he expected to help RSM restore its position as Korea’s No.3 automaker behind Hyundai and Kia.

RSM’s rival for second place in Korea, GM Korea, recently named its first Korean CEO as well. James Kim officially replaces Sergio Rocha April 1. Rocha had held the post since March 2012.

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