Subscribe to our Newsletter!

November 17, 1986 – The Assassination of Renault CEO Georges Besse

georges besse
Georges Besse (Renault)

On this day in 1986 Georges Besse, the 58-year-old CEO of French automaker Renault, was gunned down just steps from his Paris home. Besse had become head of the company in 1985 when it was not profitable. Under his aggressive actions, Renault reported gains for the first time in years, just two months before Besse’s assassination. In addition, Besse invested heavily into American automaker AMC, of which Renault was a major stockholder. While many executives saw AMC as worthless, as it too was losing money at the time, Besse forecast Jeep to be among the most profitable brands in North America. He did his part to make that happen.

1986 renault
1986 Renault advertisement

The quick turnaround of Renault was not without significant loss for the French people. To become profitable, Besse ordered the closing of several plants and laid off some 21,000 workers across the country. The job loss upset thousands, and many believe it is what led to the CEO’s death. As Besse exited his chauffeur-driven car outside his home in Paris’ 14th Arrondissement, gunfire erupted, leaving him dead.

classic car clothes
Get your holiday shopping done for the car nut in your family! Use code CARS for 15% off at checkout! (order here)

Who Killed Georges Besse?

Three months later, flyers from the French militant anarchist group Action Directe arrived in the mail at Renault. The papers claimed responsibility for the murder in retaliation for the massive layoffs. The arrests of two women affiliated with the group occurred not long after. Nathalie Menigon and Joelle Aubron denied responsibility during their trial, as did other representation of Action Directe. The court handed down a guilty verdict in March 1987 and the women each received a life sentence. Aubron was released from prison in 2004 and died of brain cancer two years later. Menigon, who was also convicted of assassinating René Audran, a senior official at the French French Ministry of Defence, was released in 2008.

9 Comments

  • Have you ever considered creating an e-book or guest authoring on other sites?
    I have a blog centered on the same subjects you discuss and
    would love to have you share some stories/information. I know my visitors would
    value your work. If you’re even remotely interested, feel free to send me
    an e mail.

  • What’s Going down i am new to this, I stumbled upon this I have discovered It
    positively helpful and it has aided me out loads.
    I hope to contribute & help different customers like its helped me.

    Good job.

  • Hey there just wanted to give you a brief heads up and let you know afew of the images aren’t loading correctly. I’m not sure why but I think its a linking issue.I’ve tried it in two different browsers and both show the sameresults.

  • Do you mind if I quote a couple of your articles as long as I provide credit and sources back to your weblog?
    My website is in the very same niche as yours and
    my users would really benefit from a lot of the information you provide here.

    Please let me know if this ok with you. Many thanks!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

If you learned something today,

please buy me a beer!