After having spent most of his career in the industry, Raymond Lévy, will be remembered as the leader who saved Renault from bankruptcy at the end of the 1980s. The ex-CEO of the Governed died on Wednesday 10 October in Paris, at the age of 91 years.
Raymond Chaim Levy was born in Paris, June 28, 1927. Born to a jewish family of sephardic who decides to stay in the capital during the war, despite the persecution of anti-semitism, he made his studies at the lycée Jacques-Decour in Paris, before joining the Ecole polytechnique, which he graduated valedictorian in 1948, and then the Ecole des mines, making a detour by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he obtained a master of science degree in 1950. The X was more than a simple training, almost a family, in a figurative sense as in the literal sense. Often, he could not help but to slide with pride that his four children and five of his grandchildren are graduates of Polytechnique.
After a brief stint in the Coal mines of the basin of the Nord-Pas-de-Calais, it starts in 1957 a course without a fault in the oil industry, within the Régie autonome des pétroles, which will become the ERAP, and then Elf Aquitaine. After having held several key positions within the company, it seems, promised to take his head for a successor to Pierre Guillaumat, but he quickly understands that this will not be possible.
the assassination of The CEO of Renault, Georges Besse, switches its fate
” Pierre Guillaumat I was warned that the president of the Republic [Valéry Giscard d’estaing] and he himself felt that my name had forbidden me to lead a company that had relations with the Gulf countries. I admitted the thing, hoping to hear me with the new CEO, in the instance Albin Chalandon “, he told us one day, Raymond Lévy. This will not be the case. Also, when in 1981 the socialist government, proposed to him to join Usinor, he did not hesitate to accept, although the european steel industry is in the midst of the crisis.
just nominated for the presidency, it challenges the economic relevance of the project being pushed by the minister of industry of the time, Laurent Fabius, to build an ultra-modern facility in Gandrange (Moselle). François Mitterrand arbitrator in favour of Raymond Lévy, supported by the prime minister, Pierre Mauroy. A year later, in may 1984, in spite of the results in the net recovery, it is convened by the director of the cabinet of Laurent Fabius, a certain Louis Schweitzer, who tells him that he is to be landed.
Then he takes his misfortune patiently at the head of the steelmaker belgian Cockerill-Sambre, the assassination of the CEO of Renault, Georges Besse, was shot and killed by terrorist Action direct on November 17, 1986, made to switch its fate. The new minister of industry, Alain Madelin, chooses to take in hand an enterprise is traumatized by the tragic death of his boss, barely two years after the sacking brutal of his predecessor, Bernard Hanon.
once named, Raymond Lévy has only one obsession : to sink down in the footsteps of Georges Besse, who had barely time to start the turnaround of Renault, while the losses accumulate. One of his first decisions is to put an end to the american adventure of the Régie selling American Motors Corporation to Chrysler. If there was no doubt that he had to stop selling Renault in the United States, the sale of the Jeep at the time where the sales of 4×4 are in the process of take-off sparked a lively debate.
Leave Renault is a heart-wrenching while the transformation of the company is still in the middle of the ford
But the renault brand has other cats to whip. It is necessary to negotiate a capital increase with the State, and especially recover the image of the company, whose vehicles are especially known for their poor quality. This small man, impulsive and sometimes breaking tackles with persistence at this site. “Gentlemen, I have a R25 and every month, I have to bring it to the garage,” he pestered the face of its officers had just arrived with the aim of causing a gasp from within the company. He does not hesitate to delay the launch of the R19, then the Safrane, which are not to his expectations. In 1989, the bet is won. Renault, which is separated from a third of its workforce and has received more than 40 billion francs of State aid and shows, finally, profits.
Out of the rut, the enterprise can begin to talk about expansion. If Czech brand Skoda, which was acquired by the German Volkswagen, escapes him, Raymond Levy set his sights on the Swedish Volvo by initiating a reconciliation. But, in June 1992, he was struck by the age limit. Leave the Renault is a heart-wrenching while the transformation of the company is still in the middle of the ford. If the Régie has now become a limited company, the public status from the manufacturer is a handicap in a sector that is increasingly competitive and internationalized. He must leave this challenge to the one which had signified his dismissal of Usinor, Louis Schweitzer, that he adoube without rancor.
He finished his professional career to the presidency of the Consortium of realization of assets of Crédit lyonnais (CDR), from 1998 to 2001, where he will have the merit of fulfilling its task by forgetting the scent of scandal related to the bankruptcy resounding. Close to Jean-Luc Lagardère, he will, after the disappearance of it, to convince his son Arnaud to take the height by simply in the role of heir. Without success. The chairman of the supervisory board, he can only watch helplessly to the narrowing of the scope of the group, from which he retired in 2009.
Raymond Lévy in a few dates
June 28, 1927 Born in Paris.
1948 Fate major of Polytechnic.
1981 Leaves Elf Aquitaine for joining Usinor.
1985 CEO of Cockerill-Sambre.
1986-1992 CEO of Renault.
10 October 2018, Died in Paris.