Tony O'Kane | Mar 30, 2009

After posting a loss of €343 million last year and issuing a similarly grim sales forecast for this year, PSA Peugeot Citroen has announced that it has fired chief executive Christian Streiff.

Streiff's dismissal came as no surprise to many industry commentators, as the former CEO has been accused of being unnecessarily abrasive in his dealings with PSA's senior management, the Peugeot family and even France's President, Nicolas Sarkozy.

President Sarkozy was reportedly infuriated by Streiff's initial refusal to pledge that factories would remain open - a key condition of PSA receiving a hefty €3 billion loan from the French Government.

His management style has also been described as "high-handed", and many within the company were unimpressed by his apparent lack of a clear plan to revitalise PSA's struggling brands and return the company to profitability.

Philippe Varin will take the helm of PSA from June 1, with PSA managing board member Roland Vardanega in charge of the company until then.

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