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By Laurence Frost and Gilles Guillaume
PARIS, July 3 PSA Peugeot Citroen's
deputy chairman Thierry Peugeot was forced out on Thursday after
voicing renewed public dissent over a French-backed tie-up with
Dongfeng that he had unsuccessfully opposed as
Thierry Peugeot, who had stepped down as chairman earlier
this year when the carmaker sold stakes to the French state and
China's Dongfeng, is leaving the board with immediate effect,
the Paris-based company said in a statement.
His abrupt exit is the direct result of a press interview in
which he broke ranks to criticize the terms of the deal, two
people familiar with the matter said.
French industrialist Louis Gallois took over as chairman
after the founding Peugeot clan ceded control of the
200-year-old industrial group in a 3 billion euro ($4.1 billion)
capital increase announced in February, with Thierry Peugeot
staying on as a deputy chairman.
But in his June 23 interview with daily Les Echos, Thierry
Peugeot expressed dissatisfaction with the government's
involvement in the bailout, which left the family's holding on a
par with the 14.1 percent stakes sold to France and Dongfeng.
"There were clearly other options available," he told daily
Les Echos. "The market component could have been larger."
Asked for his views of the French government's role, Thierry
Peugeot replied: "I'm a liberal, moral capitalist and a defender
of free enterprise. When the state buys into the company for the
first time in 200 years it necessarily poses questions."
His departure was decided at a board meeting on Tuesday, one
of the sources said. "The Peugeot family decided it would no
longer be represented by Thierry Peugeot on the PSA board."
Marie-Helene Roncoroni, the former chairman's sister, will
replace him as deputy chairman, the company said. Thierry
Peugeot could not be reached for comment.
($1 = 0.7331 Euros)
(Reporting by Laurence Frost, editing by David Evans and