Former BCG partner tasked with smoothing Renault/Nissan alliance

09 December 2019 Consultancy-me.com

Lebanese-French dual national Hadi Zablit has been elevated to the role of general secretary for auto-alliance Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi. Zablit previously spent seventeen years with BCG.

As it continues to weather exceptionally tough market conditions and the fall-out from the Ghosn affair, troubled automaker-alliance Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi has appointed Lebanese-French dual national Hadi Zablit as its new General Secretary – with a mandate to accelerate business efficiencies across the three companies. Zablit joined Renault Digital in 2017, prior to which he spent close to two decades at BCG.

Currently serving as senior vice president of business development, Zablit will assume the newly created position as of this week, in what is seen as part of an ongoing effort to mend the strained relations between Renault and Nissan following Ghosn’s arrest over allegations of financial misconduct in Tokyo last year – a rift since widened by Nissan’s slumping profits, which are largely due to a dramatic dive in sales but also in part because of rising costs.

Zabat will report to the alliance’s operating board and its individual CEOs (Renault is set to appoint a new CEO shortly, following the departure of Thierry Bollore, while Makoto Uchida took over at Nissan last week), and has been tasked with coordinating major operational efficiency programmes across the three members – including “action plans to maximise the contribution” of the alliance in support of each.

Hadi Zablit, General Secretary - Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi

To carry out the challenging task, the new Secretary General will be drawing from nearly 18 years of experience gained at global strategy and management giant BCG, where he most recently served as a senior partner in the firm’s Paris office as head of its European automotive business and worldwide innovation practice co-lead. Prior to joining BCG, Zabat kicked off his career with six years in the engineering and sales & marketing divisions of Renault.

Since returning to the company in 2017, the former BCG consultant initially served as Managing Director of Renault Digital upon its launch, before being elevated to Alliance Senior Vice President, Business Development early last year – leading a team “responsible for future activities and business breakthrough innovation.” More recently, Zabat was also made CEO of the Alliance autonomous mobility services joint-ventures in France and Japan.

As a point of interest, Zabat during his time with BCG’s global innovation practice was a co-author of the firm’s annual Most Innovative Companies reports – with Renault falling out of the top-50 in 2018 after three consecutive years on the list and earlier entries in 2012/2013. Nissan also dropped out last year, but had reappeared in the 2017 top-fifty after a three-year absence, placing for the first time at 22nd in 2012. Tesla and Toyota have both previously made the top five.