Louis Schweitzer (businessman)

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Louis Schweitzer
Renault - Louis Schweitzer - Mondial de l'Automobile de Paris 2012 - 001.jpg
Mondial de l'Automobile de Paris, 2012
Born (1942-07-08) July 8, 1942 (age 73)
Geneva, Switzerland
Education Institut d'études politiques de Paris
Occupation Chairman of Renault (1992-2005)
Parent(s) Pierre-Paul Schweitzer
Awards Légion d'honneur
National Order of Merit

Louis Schweitzer (born 8 July 1942, Geneva, Switzerland) is a former Chairman of Renault, first taking that post on 27 May 1992 in succession to Raymond Lévy:[1] he was also CEO from 1992 to 2005. He was in addition Chairman of AstraZeneca until 8 June 2012[2] where he was appointed as a Director 11 March 2004. He is a non-executive director of BNP Paribas, Electricité de France, Veolia Environnement, Volvo AB and L'Oréal, and Vice-Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Philips Electronics NV[3]

Louis Schweitzer is the son of Pierre-Paul Schweitzer, Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) from 1963 to 1973. He is the grandnephew of Albert Schweitzer,[4] and so related to Jean-Paul Sartre.

Schweitzer has a degree in law and is a graduate of France's elite Institut d'études politiques de Paris (Sciences Po) and École nationale d'administration.

He was appointed Inspector of Finance at the French Treasury in 1970. In 1981 he became Chief of Staff to Laurent Fabius in his various government posts (Budget Minister, Minister for Industry and Research and Prime Minister).

He joined Renault in 1986 and became Chief Financial Officer and Head of Strategic Planning in 1988.

He was appointed Executive Vice President and COO in 1989, and President and COO in 1990. He was Renault's Chairman and CEO from May 1992 to April 2005, and president of the Renault-Nissan Alliance Board from 2001 to 2005. On 29 April 2005 he became Chairman of the Renault Board of Directors.

Schweitzer is a Commander of the French Légion d'honneur and National Order of Merit, and director of several French and foreign companies. He is also member of governing boards of various general organisations, particularly in the cultural field.

Since 6 March 2005, Schweitzer has been President of the Haute Authorité de Lutte Contre les Discriminations et Pour l'Egalité. This role was entrusted to him by the French President.

For having closely surveilled Jean-Edern Hallier by a special cell in the Elysée Palace, he was ultimately condemned [5] in 2008 by the Court of Cassation.

In 2013 he was appointed one of the 250 Grand Officers of the Legion of Honour.


Schweitzer is a Protestant.

Renault highlights in the Schweitzer years (1992-2005)[edit]

  • 27 May 1992 – Louis Schweitzer takes over from Raymond Lévy as head of Renault
  • December 1992 – Renault wins the Formula One Constructors' and drivers' championships.
  • 6 September 1993 – Renault and Volvo sign a merger agreement
  • 2 December 1993 – Volvo pulls out of the merger
  • 18 July 1994 – The Renault privatization bill becomes law. The Régie Nationale des Usines Renault is renamed Renault.
  • 13 September 1994 – The French government opens Renault to outside capital
  • End-1994 – Renault shares are floated at FRF 180,90. Renault joins the CAC40 index
  • 1 June 1995 – Renault decides to open a plant in Brazil
  • 3 July 1996 – Renault is fully privatized, with the French government reducing its stake from 52% to 46%
  • 19 November 1996 – Renault Scénic is named European Car of the Year 1997
  • December 1996 – Carlos Ghosn is appointed Executive Vice President.
  • 27 February 1997 – The closure of the Belgian Vilvoorde plant is announced.
  • December 1997 – Williams Renault wins the Formula One Constructors' Championship for the sixth time.
  • February 1998 – Renault starts its New Distribution (Nouvelle Distribution) project.
  • 28 May 1998 – The Technocentre in Guyancourt, France is opened.
  • 2 July 1998 – Renault and the City of Moscow set up OAO Avtoframos.
  • November 1998 – Renault starts development work on a car retailing at €5.000,00.
  • 4 December 1998 – Inauguration of the Ayrton Senna Plant in Curitiba Brazil.
  • 27 March 1999 – Renault acquires 36,8% of the Japanese carmaker Nissan. Carlos Ghosn becomes head of Nissan
  • 2 July 1999 – Renault takes control of Romanian carmaker Dacia.
  • 18 October 1999 – Carlos Ghosn announces the Nissan Revival Plan.
  • 21 April 2000 – Renault acquires South Korean carmaker Samsung Motors.
  • 25 April 2000 – Renault sells its trucks business to AB Volvo in exchange for a 20% stake in the Swedish group. The future of Renault Trucks is assured.
  • 12 March 2001 – Renault and Nissan draw up plans to set up a global joint purchasing unit, called Renault Nissan Purchasing Organisation
  • 27 March 2001 – Laguna II becomes the first car ever to be awarded five starts in the EuroNCAP crash tests
  • 30 October 2001 – Renault increases its equity stake in Nissan to 44,4%, and Nissan takes a 15% stake in Renault. The Renault-Nissan Alliance Board is created
  • 20 December 2001 – Renault and Nissan inaugurate their first joint plant, used to assemble LCVs in Curitiba, Brazil.
  • 28 June 2002 – Renault and Nissan set up Renault Nissan Information Services, the second joint venture under the Alliance
  • 22 October 2002 – Production of the Trafic panel van starts at Nissan's plant in Barcelona, making Renault and Nissan's first joint production project in Europe.
  • 19 November 2002 – Renault Mégane is named Car of the year 2003.
  • 23 January 2003 – The Renault Production Way (SPR) is launched with the aim of ensuring that the Group's industrial system performs in line with the best in the world.
  • 24 February 2003 – Claas becomes the majority partner in Renault Agriculture by acquiring a 51% stake
  • 26 February 2003 – Renault invests €230 million in the production and marketing of its future X90 vehicle in Russia.
  • 28 July 2003 – Renault takes control of its SOMACA subsidiary, previously controlled by the Moroccan government, to make the X90 in Morocco.
  • 16 March 2004 – Renault lays the foundations for expansion in Iran by setting up Renault Pars.
  • September 2004 – Dacia Logan - the €5.000,00 car goes on sale.
  • February 2005 – Renault announces record sales and financial results.
  • 22 February 2005 – Renault signs an agreement with Mahindra & Mahindra to produce Logan in India.
  • 6 April 2005 – The Avtoframos plant in Moscow is inaugurated.
  • 29 April 2005 – Carlos Ghosn takes over from Louis Schweitzer as president of Renault.

Notes and references[edit]

  1. ^ "Nieuwe Kroonprins bij Renault". Autovisie. 1991 nr 1: Page 11. 5 January 1991. 
  2. ^ AstraZeneca Board Members
  3. ^ AstraZeneca Annual report - see p80
  4. ^ Business Week How Renault Jump-Started Nissan
  5. ^ http://www.lefigaro.fr/actualite-france/2008/09/30/01016-20080930ARTFIG00710-l-affaire-des-ecoutes-de-l-elysee-trouve-son-epilogue-.php