French automaker fires chief executive

Peugeot is Europe's second biggest carmaker
Automaker Peugeot fired its chief executive on Sunday, replacing Christian Streiff with Philippe Varin, currently the CEO at Corus, an Anglo-Dutch steelmaker.

“Given the extraordinary difficulties currently faced by the automotive industry, the Supervisory Board decided unanimously that a change in the senior leadership position was necessary,” said Thierry Peugeot, chairman of the PSA Peugeot Citroen supervisory board. “I am confident that under the leadership of Philippe Varin, the Group will be able, with all the teams, to unlock its potential.” Varin will officially take over Peugeot’s top post on June 1, but will begin “familiarizing himself” with operations starting next month. Roland Vardanega, a member of the managing board, will act as interim chairman until Varin assumes his new job. Peugeot, Europe’s second biggest automaker, posted a loss of €343 million, or $456 million, in 2008 and also expects to lose money in 2009.