Ex-Renault executive Carlos Tavares to take over rival PSA Peugeot Citroen next year

PARIS – Struggling French carmaker PSA Peugeot Citroen says a former executive at rival Renault will lead the company when its current chairman steps down.

The company said Monday that Carlos Tavares, who was Renault’s chief operating officer, will join PSA’s managing board in January. He will replace the current board chairman, Philippe Varin, at some point next year.

Tavares stepped down from Renault after telling a reporter he thought he’d never get the top job there but would like to be chief executive somewhere.

PSA is likely looking for an edge on its rival. While both carmakers are struggling in a dismal European economy, Renault has fared better and recently signed a deal with unions that some say could help turn its fortunes around. PSA is in talks with its unions.